Monday, July 10, 2006

Don't Mess With Mr. In-Between

In case you didn't notice, I disappeared for a few days. I learned a valuable lesson while I was gone. If the Judge doesn't think that you're competent enough to stand as your own attorney, he's probably right. Live and learn.

Caution! Introspective blogger warning: I was just sort of burned out. I've been writing prettty much every day for almost two years now. When I started the ol' blog, I certainly didn't expect to be humming along for this long. I started it because I wanted to get to know the team, to know the players, to get a feel for the strengths and weaknesses, and also because I wanted to write. I do a lot of writing for my job, but it's tedious writing filled with ornamental flourishes, heretofores, whereases, and all sorts of formality. I hate writing like that. Simple is better. The blog started out as a way for me to get out of the bad habits my work-related writing requires.

I think I succeeded on both. I know the team. And I can string together a few words without too many semi-colons. (Even if I've gotten far wordier over the last year than I was when I initially started out).

There've been a few days where it's been a bit of a chore. But for the most part, I just sit and write. It flows easily.

That's been different lately, though. This year, it's been harder. Sure, the team stinking is a big part of that. But it's also been harder to watch the games. Fewer are on TV. And my connection has rejected me much more than it did last year. I shouldn't have to work to watch the farkin' games.

I don't particularly like the players on the team. It's hard not to like Zimmerman. And I've been following Nick Johnson since my days as a Yankees fan. But Royce Clayton? Pass. Jose Guillen? Headcase. John Patterson? Sigh. Is there a likeable personality on the team?

I don't particularly like Frank. I won't beat that horse now, but he's the wrong fit for this team, as he proves time and time again. If you have an underachieving veteran team, he might be able to whip them into shape for a few years. But this isn't that.

And then there's the front office. I'm harsh towards Bowden, but that's mostly personality driven. I can't stand the self-promoting salesman types. And I think that I'm so turned off by that PT Bowdenism and all the bluster that comes out of his mouth that I'm disinclined to give him a fair shake in cases where he might deserve it.

Is there anything associated with the team that I should like? That's the rut. Why should I care about the uncareable? Yet, I do. I am Wil Cordero's wife.

It's going to seem funny, but I'm really not a negative person. I'm not really happy-go-lucky, but I try to have a positive outlook on things. And the giant vortex of suck has just been getting me down.

I sat down a few times over the last week to write something, and nothing came out. Sure, I was happy with Zimmerman's walk-off -- even lucky enough to have been there for his extra-innings single. But it was just a struggle.

I don't know if yesterday's and today's entries mean the end of it. Did I just need a few days off? I dunno. I just know that writing shouldn't feel like a chore. And lately, it has.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble... I'll try to keep the personal indulgences to a minimum!


  • Chris, just wanted to say, keep up the good work. I've enjoyed your blog - even laughed out loud at several observations. Sure ir's been a bleak year, but so it was with the expansion Senators after the real team left for Minneapolis. Dana Gunnison

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/10/2006 11:39 AM  

  • I'm sure you didn't write this post to see how much support or empathy you could get, but I bet the comments turn into that. Simply put, your coverage makes following the team bearable.

    Is there anything associated with the team that I should like?

    If I ask myself the same question, this blog is just about the best answer I can come up with nowadays. Hopefully a little time away from it can recharge your batteries for a strong second half and beyond.

    By Blogger JP, at 7/10/2006 11:59 AM  

  • I think what you are really trying to say is "wow, I never thought I would have missed Dave Shea this much."

    This sophomore slump has been a drag for all involved.

    By Blogger WFY, at 7/10/2006 12:16 PM  

  • Chris: As a longtime lurker/seldom poster on this baby I have to say your insight is truly helpful.

    I am a baseball fan but you are always able to provide an insight that I didn't see. I remember you saying a few weeks ago about how little info is really in a box score, it doesn't tell the inside storylines, etc. I get the inside stories from (primarily) you but also your friends in the Natosphere and so I thank you for that.

    Maybe LernerStan will make things interesting with the "reopening" but I can't count on that so please keep up the good work.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/10/2006 1:09 PM  

  • You know, Chris, there is a place for this kind of thoughtful introspection.

    By Blogger Ryan, at 7/10/2006 1:26 PM  

  • I've always enjoyed your insights, Chris.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/10/2006 2:24 PM  

  • Good to have you back. I, for one, would be very sorry to see this blog fall by the wayside, as it is at the top of my (extensive) reading list each day. I also consider it to be one of the gold standards for Nats blogging. You do it consistently, you do it well, and it's a great, entertaining read.

    In fact, my lurking on Capitol Punishment was the inspiration for the Curly W. Time and time again I'd start typing a comment to respond to one of your posts, and when those comments got to be about 1,000 words I thought to myself, "screw this, I'm starting my own blog!" So I owe you my thanks.

    That being said, you either feel it or you don't. We've all had times when we have to bow out for awhile and wait for the muse to return.

    To avoid falling victim to the vortex of suck, I've made a commitment to focus on individual great Nats moments instead of the dismal state of the season as a whole. It's working so far. There is still so much yet to discuss and ponder and look forward to with the Nats. Don't give up yet!

    By Blogger Brandon, at 7/10/2006 3:37 PM  

  • Thanks everybody for the comments. I feel like a weasel, bc this seems like I wrote this to fish for compliments. But I was just rambling!

    Thanks for the nice things. They're appreciated. Lord knows I'm not doing it for the money! ;)

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 7/10/2006 3:49 PM  

  • Bah. Good riddance. You shoulda stayed away, ya bum!

    [We kid because we care. Take your time ... come back when you feel like it ... it should be fun; nothing sucks more than a labor of love that's more labor than love.]

    Hang in there and don't force it ... shoot, people even missed Ball Wonk. You'll be back :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/10/2006 4:24 PM  

  • WTF!?! I pay you good money ... or something ... to tell me what to think about this team. You slack off again and I'll take my bitter, half-baked complaints somewhere else!

    By Blogger DM, at 7/10/2006 4:33 PM  

  • Your too negitave, your just like the Post, I say good rubbish to bad rubbish, if you want to stay away, nobody one's holdign you're hand stop you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/10/2006 4:44 PM  

  • Chris...

    I hope this is a welcome back, but if not, we will all survive. We forget the effort that's required to do this day in and day out. How many of us have tried something similar, only to tire of the obligation after a week or so? (Me.) I guess that's the point...we're hoping the enjoyment returns and the sense of obligation lifts.

    I hope to see you keep this up, and agree with your need to enjoy it. I'll hope that you do.



    By Blogger Jim H, at 7/10/2006 5:10 PM  

  • Agreed with most of the above. Keep up the good work.

    If daily seems like too much of a chore, just write once or twice per week. We'll still come back to read it.

    By Blogger boz, at 7/10/2006 8:40 PM  

  • Chris-

    I hope you will keep writing for this blog. It's very entertaining, and not as much fun to link to you from Curly W when your blog has that not so fresh feeling.

    By Blogger Ben Folsom, at 7/11/2006 12:33 AM  

  • Chris - Your blog contains more insight than either the Post or It's salve for an itinerant ex-Washingtonian! The weekly summaries are essential reading. Hope you choose to keep it up - or else someone will have to reinvent the wheel.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/11/2006 10:14 AM  

  • The Post is too negative? Mr. Anonymous obvioulsy doesn't read Boz... There's a word for what you are, Chris: pragmatic. I hope Stan gets a sense of your frustration/malaise/dispritedness, because I'm sure A LOT of fans feel the same way (about 5,000 per home game, I'd say). That's really what the front office has to fix. Anyway, I too love the blog. It got me through the winter (and what a sucky winter it was) when Barry was off writing his book. And now that the season is underway, I read him second.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/11/2006 11:13 AM  

  • I feel your frustration with this team, combine with my love of the Orioles and Cubs, its a been a LONG summer so far. I read your blog everyday and maybe you should get Direct TV, that way you can watch more of Frank letting Fick swing at 3-0 pitches like he was Barry Bonds and Frank letting his pitcher bat in the 7th inning with guys on base, that was just Friday nights game!! Sorry, I couldnt help it. Dont stop writing about this team, all of us Nats fan have been through WAY too much to give up hope now. adam

    By Blogger Mac G, at 7/11/2006 1:17 PM  

  • How do you think Bill Ladson would feel if you left for good?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/11/2006 5:15 PM  

  • I don't know, Mr. Anonymous. I'd assume that Mr. Ladson wouldn't give a rat's ass about some asshat on blogger, but what do I know? Why don't you ask him yourself?

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 7/11/2006 9:07 PM  

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