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Nats HatOl’ Robbo was delighted to see this afternoon that his beloved Nationals had signed five key players to short-term deals, thereby avoiding arbitration.  This leaves only two others – pitchers Fister and Clippard – who need to be taken care of, and I’ll bet that happens very soon.   (We just picked up Fister from the Tigers – a brilliant move, and Clip is invaluable in the 7th inning.  The Nats would be idiots to let either go.)

With just under a month before pitchers and catchers report, it is, of course, waaaaay too early to prognosticate about the 2014 season, but I have to admit that I can feel teh excitement rising already.  The core of last year’s team is returning intact, we’ve made some major upgrades to our rotation, bullpen and bench, and nobody else in the Division looks to be on the same trajectory as us.  (Teh Braves have, I think, reached maximum altitude and will fade.  Phils, Mets and Marlins? Feh.)

Of course, we still need some moar bench depth and bullpen firepower and  to sort out the fifth pitcher’s spot.  Also, things always “happen” during Spring Training.  So as I say, predictions are premature.  But the main wildcard in Robbo’s mind at this point is the fact that we have a new manager this year, Matt Williams.  Not only is he a new manager to us, this is in fact his first job skippering in the Majors.  How will he handle it?  How will he mesh with the guys and with the Lerners?

Given these unknowns, from what little I know about the biznay of baseball it strikes me that this raft of short-term deals makes even more sense.  Why tie anyone down long-term until you know what the chemistry is going to be?

Anyhoo, we shall see what we shall see.  I confess that I didn’t attend a single game in person last season (although I watched the majority of them on teevee), but I intend to rectify that dearth this year.  In the meantime, what can I say except

GO, NATS!!!

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I dunno how wide-spread this particular practice is among grocery chains, but my local Gourmet Giant (pronounced “Gerrr-May Gee-ohn“) provides miniature carts with little flags reading “Shopper-in-Training” for the amusement of the offspring of its patrons while said patrons stock up on food and drink.

I refrain from commenting here on what one might call the moral or philosophical issues raised by such provision and instead focus on the practical:  Trying to navigate an aisle populated by a gang of the little darlin’s pushing these things hither and yon reminds me of nothing so much as Han Solo trying to pilot the Millenium Falcon through the asteroid field.

When ol’ Robbo becomes Emperor of the World, I intend to have all such mini-carts melted down and their metal put to some more advantageous use.

In the meantime, never tell me the odds……

UPDATE:  It occurs to me that the Mothe probably doesn’t know what I’m talking about.  Here’s a snippet from said reference:

I might add that this is one of those scenes that I use to help combat my fear of flying, and of turbulence in particular.

I might also add, by the bye,  that in going back and listening to the full “Asteroid Field” track from John Williams’ score, I can’t help noticing that certain parts of it bear a suspicious similarity to Bernard Herrmann’s score for North By Northwest.  Just saying.

UPDATE DEUX:  Well, you be teh judge.  Here’s Williams’ “Asteroid Field” track:

And here’s the opening credits from NBNW:

 

(If you experience trouble trying to get to this link, I feel your pain.  It happens to me a lot.  Easiest to go to http://www.youtube.com and search ‘North By Northwest theme’ yourself.  Sorry.)

I’m not suggesting a direct comparison of what one might call teh musickal meat.  Rayther, I simply bring forward the curiously similar syncopated bits around teh peripheries.

(Then again, I’m teh fellah who thinks Williams stole material from Mussorgsky for some of his incidental musick for Lost In Space, so what do I know?)

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