Last night, people all over DC gathered around their TVs and huddled together at FedEx Field to watching the Washington Redskins game against the Dallas Cowboys. If Washington succeeded, the Redskins would take the NFC East for the first time since 1999 and go into the playoffs. If Dallas won, then the Cowboys would go into the playoffs and the Redskins’ season would end.
It was a very cold but very exciting night. DC triumphed over Dallas 28-18. It was an amazing game by the rookies, Quarterback RGIII and Running Back Alfred Morris. The city went absolutely nuts!
As Nationals broadcaster F.P. Santangelo likes to say, “DC stands for Division Champs”!
After 20 years playing professional baseball, Hideki Matsui retires at the age of 38. Matsui played in Japan for 10 years and then flew overseas to the US for 10 years. He played for the Yankees, Angels, Athletics, and Rays. He played with the Yomiuri Giants in the Nippon Professional Baseball “the NPB” and was an All-Star in the NPB nine times. Matsui won the World Series MVP award in 2001 with New York, beating the Mets. I think many Yankees fans do not like the idea of a former Yankee retiring after a young career in the United States. However, I think that the decision of Matsui was a good decision, as he needs to return home to Japan. Congratulations on a great career!
We were on vacation in Florida last week, and I got a chance to play catch with my dad in the park because the weather was so nice. I used my brand new glove that I got for Hanukkah, and my dad used the glove that he used when he was my age.
The glove was a Dale Murphy model from the late 1980s or early 1990s. Dale Murphy was the star outfielder for the Atlanta Braves for much of the 1980s. He wore #3. He Murphy won the National League MVP twice and won the Silver Slugger four years in a row. He also won the Gold Glove award for 5 years in a row! Hopefully one day he will make it into the Hall of Fame.
I took a picture of my dad’s glove that we were playing with and sent it to Dale Murphy on Twitter. And he re-tweeted me!!! Look:
Lots of people have “favorited” my tweet and replied to it.
Another interesting thing happened on Twitter yesterday. Since I was in Florida, I sent a message to 2 Nationals players who live in Florida– Gio Gonzalez and Michael Morse— asking what I should do for my last day. And Gio Gonzales wrote back to me!
I think it’s really cool that so many famous people read my tweets and write back to me. Like Danny Espinosa did a couple weeks ago, but actually he didn’t write back, but that’s OK because I know he read my website.
Stay tuned for daily MattsBats updates now that I’m back home from vacation.
This post is dedicated to Tom, who is a Phillies fan from Mt. Laurel, NJ. Tom works at Walt Disney World in Guest Services and helped my family and my friends’ family on our vacation. He is now a Matt’s Bats reader, and I wanted to let him know my opinion of his team.
First, here’s a look at their likely lineup:
SS Jimmy Rollins
RF Ben Revere
1B Ryan Howard
2B Chase Utley
3B Kevin Frandsen
LF Domonic Brown
C Erik Kratz
CF John Mayberry, Jr
P Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Vance Worley, and John Lannan.
This is a good looking lineup with a very powerful infield. Their outfield, however, could stand to be upgraded. Michael Bourn is still a free agent, and he could instantly improve the team.
But improve them enough to top the NL East? The competition will be a little softer this year against the Marlins and Mets. But the Nationals are still the team to beat. My prediction is the Division ends up looking like this:
1: Washington Nationals
2: Philadelphia Phillies
3: Atlanta Braves
4: New York Mets
5: Miami Marlins
Tom will be watching his hometown Phillies all season from Florida, and I will be in the stands at Nationals Park cheering on the 2012– and 2013!– NL East winning Washington Nationals.
PS– On our drive from Orlando down to visit my grandma, we passed Port Saint Lucie (Spring Training home of the Mets) and Jupiter (Spring Training home of the Marlins and Cardinals). I think I’ll be back to check out some games this spring, so stay tuned Matt’s Bats fans for updates from the pre-season.
Nick Swisher has signed with a team. He approved a contract by the Cleveland Indians. The Yankees need to get rid of A-Rod and got rid of Swisher because they had upsetting years in 2012. The Indians traded Shin-Soo Choo and got Drew Stubbs back, and Choo was a right fielder. Swisher can take the place of Choo and again scare pitchers in the AL.
Something really exciting happened yesterday. I saw on Twitter that Danny Espinosa’s girlfriend posted pictures of Danny handing out gifts to poor children. He has a big, black, bushy beard now that makes him look like Brian Wilson. But the kids he was giving presents to probably thought that he was more like Santa Claus.
I posted a tweet saying that Danny would like to read my blog because I’m a super huge Nats fan. He’s an excellent defensive player and has a big swing that sends balls flying. He’s the only switch hitting infielder on the Nats. (Did you know that Drew Storen is also a switch hitter, but he is the closer and so he never gets to bat).
WELL, DANNY ESPINOSA IS GOING TO READ MY BLOG!
This is super exciting for me to have a professional player check out my blog.
Here is one of the best memories I have of watching Danny play.
It happened to be on my birthday last season when he sparked the lead on the three run homer, followed by Bryce Harper’s homer hit so fast and far Bob Carpenter said “Well, you can kiss that baby goodbye!” I wrote a post about that back in August.
He also hit a clutch home run in the 10th inning of the “Game That Should Not Be Mentioned” (the GTSNBM) on July 20. But the Nationals still lost 11-10 against the Braves. Even though they were winning by 7 runs in the 7th. He got us make in the game in extra innings, but it wasn’t enough. (But the Nats still beat the Braves to be NL East Champs with the best record in baseball!!!!)
So now a professional player checks out MattsBats.com! Maybe he will tell all his friends on the team to read it too and follow me on twitter– how awesome would that be. And I will know he actually reads my blog if he follows me on twitter at @MattsBats if he has twitter. (I think he does because once he posted that he was giving away free tickets at Baja Fresh and I wanted my parents to drive me there). It would be so awesome to get a #FF of MattsBats from Danny Espinosa and the other Nationals!
This is a picture my dad took of Danny Espinosa in 2011. If he is at NatsFest, we are going to try to get it autographed!
The Seattle Mariners acquire 1B/DH Kendrys Morales from the Angels in exchange for pitcher Jason Vargas. One of the biggest bloopers in sports history is when Morales hit a walk-off grand slam and when he got mobbed, he broke his leg. Vargas is very good and so is Morales, so it was a win-win for both teams.
|1.||Anthony Rendon, 3b|
|2.||Lucas Giolito, rhp|
|3.||Brian Goodwin, of|
|4.||Matt Skole, 3b|
|5.||Nate Karns, rhp|
|6.||Christian Garcia, rhp|
|7.||Eury Perez, of|
|8.||Sammy Solis, lhp|
|9.||Matt Purke, lhp|
|10.||Zach Walters, ss|
I follow Giolito, Goodwin, Skole, Karns, Perez and Purke on Twitter. Go Nats!!
Free agent reliever J.P. Howell is interested in joining the Nationals, Mlb.com Nationals news reports. The 29-year old southpaw played in 55 games sporting an earned run average of 3.04 and 42 strikeouts. They need another lefty in the pen with Zach Duke as the only one and Sean Burnett gone. Go Nats!
Rumor has it the San Diego Padres are pursuing a deal with free agent starter Edwin Jackson. I wrote earlier about the Twitter miscue where I thought Edwin Jackson was already a Padre, but his girlfriend wrote back to me and said he wasn’t. Or at least not yet. Check back soon to see whether my prediction was right, and if so, remember YOU HEARD HERE IT HERE FIRST!
Remember to follow @MattsBats on Twitter for all your baseball news from this 8 year old baseball journalist.