Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Washington "New York Times" Post?

(Disclaimer: I'm a lifelong Orioles fan so I may sound biased; please know that is not meant to be an anti-Yankees blog -- they deserved their 27th World Series win; And I'm glad Jeter got his 5th ring)

When I picked up my Washington Post today (or was it the New York Times this morning?), I was dismayed to see the large photo of the Yankees winning the series on the front page above the fold. What a way to rub it in to all the Orioles and Nats fans in the region. I could understand if it was a brief metion on the bottom of the front page as a teaser to the Sports section (by the way, if you have not read it; great column by Boswell this morning). But why such a large photo of the team celebration on the front page? Wasn't there more important local news to cover? Let's see: Yesterday, there were issues with the traffic lights in Montgomery County (which was on the bottom of the front page) and Metro had technical issues as well. Seems like a combined commuter-oriented story would have been more appropriate.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mr. Leonsis: Care to Buy the Orioles?

I read with great interest Mike Wise's column in the Washington Post this morning. He described the risky and smart decision Capitals Majority Owner Ted Leonsis made several years ago to trade away high-priced veterans and begin to rebuild. Wise described how Leonsis told season ticket holders how it would be bad before it got good. One particular statement from Leonsis at the time really caught my attention: "'If your deliverable is to win a championship, do you think you have the system, culture and talent to deliver that?'" Essentially if the answer is no, then you need to make changes.

As a life long Orioles fan, I wish Peter Angelos would take notice. The reality is Angelos has no incentive to ensure that the Orioles have a "system, culture and talent" to win a World Series let alone try to put any kind of contender on the field. Regardless of how the team performs, Angelos is guaranteed a sale price when he does decide to eventually sell the team. That was part of Major League Baseball's efforts to placate him in order to move the Expos to DC. He also gets revenue from the Nats' broadcasting deal. How insane is that?

Don't get me wrong, the Orioles have some young talent -- Adam Jones, Nick Markakis to name a few. However, the team has not had a contender since 1997 when the Orioles were AL East wire-to-wire champs. And what did Angelos do after that season? He fired Davey Johnson, one of the best managers; and let John Miller, the best play-by-play baseball announcer today, leave town.

As the Orioles are on the verge of a 100-game loss season, Mr. Angelos, can you do us all a favor and consider selling the ballclub soon?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Time to Drop the Puck: It's Caps Hockey Time

Hard to believe but hockey season begins tonight. For the Caps, with a horrible Game 7 loss to the Pens in the Eastern Conference semis last May behind them (but not forgotten) and some off season enhancements, expectations are high. Some interesting questions to ponder:
  • Goaltending: Will Jose Theodore return to the more high caliber player he was earlier in his career? Or will we get to see exciting sensation Semyon Varlamov become the day-to-day starter?
  • Mike Green: Can he return to his 2008-09 regular season form that scored 31 goals, had 42 assists and achieved a +/- of +24?
  • Crowding the Crease: Will the addition of Mike Knuble add one of the final links to the puzzle that will bring the Cup to DC?

Only time will tell and it's a long season. Every Caps fan -- and every DC sports fan for that matter -- should be excited. Time to Rock the Red! Let's go Caps! Prediction for tonight: Caps - 2; B's - 1

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Under a Chilly Landover Sky

It was 22 years ago today ... well close enough ... when I first saw U2 perform at RFK Stadium during the Joshua Tree tour. And Joshua Tree is right up there with Sgt. Pepper's and Pet Sounds as one of the best albums of all time. In fact, I think it may have been the first CD I ever purchased.

U2, by far, is the pop and rock band of my generation. A generation growing up with MTV -- one of the first videos I remember seeing was New Year's Day. And as one of the 80,000 plus fans at Fedex Field last night, I was fortunate enough to see them play that old school song. Words cannot describe how great that show was last night. A great mix of the new album and their last several albums with some early to mid-80's songs thrown in, including the gut-wrenching Sunday Bloody Sunday, which I first heard on the live Under a Blood Red Sky album way back when -- the album (yes album and not CD) that first introduced me to the band.

U2, great show last night. Come back any time you'd like.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Any Given Sunday: Ravens Broadcasts in DC

I would enjoy nothing more than to watch the Ravens/Browns today at home. However, Channel 9, the local affiliate is showing the Philly/KC game. I'm really getting tired of the "hit and miss" of whether or not Ravens games are televised on any given Sunday.

When Baltimore got another franchise more than 10 years ago, I remember thinking: Okay, the Redskins are NFC; the Ravens are AFC -- so there would be no conflicts. However, I quickly learned that if the Redskins are home, and on Fox channel 5, that the CBS affiliate (in this case, 9) cannot show another game).

However, today is different. The Redskins are playing the Lions in Detroit. So why is Channel 9 showing the Philly/KC game when they can show the Ravens/Browns? Don't they realize there are many transplanted Baltimore natives in the area? Another solution would be if the cable company would offer the Baltimore affiliates on the DC area cable systems. Seems like a simple solution to me.

Introducing Mitch's Beltway Banter

Hello all:

I've talked about doing a blog for quite some time. It has taken me awhile as I am someone who tends to remain behind the scenes. Plus, I wanted to ensure anything I posted would be worthwhile, intriguing and/or full of possible insights. Or just plain funny!

Anyway, the intent of the title, "Mitch's Beltway Banter," is really a play on the fact that I grew up in Baltimore and have spent the majority of my post-college life in the DC area (I have lived on both sides of the Potomac). So any of my banter (really dialogue) will likely be related to musings, happenings, thoughts, etc., taking place and affecting lives in between and around 495 and 695. Then again, my postings may not. Anyway, I hope to begin posting things as frequently as I can. Please know that I am more about quality than quantity.

Anyway, enjoy! Thoughtful feedback is encouraged.