It’s Military Appreciation Night at Nationals Park

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This is a coincidence — the event was already planned — but the tonight is Military Appreciation Night at Nationals Park.  For the occasion, military personnel, be they active or retired, with a valid military ID can receive up to four free tickets to the game. All you need to do is to go to the First Street will call window.

A couple of hours ago Nats’ reliever Drew Storen tweeted “I expect some epic U-S-A chants tonight at Military Appreciation night at Nats Park.”  There has been increasing buzz all day about how the game may serve as a bit of a defacto bin Laden celebration rally of some sort.

I hope that chanting doesn’t become a thing. It was cool in Philly last night because it was spontaneous and emotional.  But we had so much orchestrated patriotism in the wake of 9/11. In some ways, it caused us to lose the thread of what was really going on and substitute real feeling and reflection for something that seemed rote at best and manipulative at worst.

I hope that doesn’t happen again.

The first native Lithuanian in MLB history made his debut last night

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Why yes, it is a slow news day. But let’s not allow that to take away from some MLB history.

Last night a young man named Dovydas Neverauskas pitched in mopup duty for the Pirates, who were getting hammered by the Cubs. Mr. Neverauskas pitched two innings, allowing one run, making him, by default, the most effective pitcher the Pirates sent out there last night.

That’s good, but that’s not what makes it historic. What makes it historic is that Neverauskas is the first person born and raised in Lithuania to make the Majors. Here’s some back story on him from last year’s Futures Game.

Lithuania is known for producing basketball players. Now it has its first major leaguer. Whether he becomes baseball’s Arvydas Sabonis is an open question.

Bumgarner: dirt bike adventure was “definitely not the most responsible decision”

MLB.com
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Madison Bumgarner talked to the press yesterday about his dirt bike injury and its fallout.

While there is some speculation that the Giants may change their approach to Bumgarner’s contract situation at some point as a result of all of this, yesterday Bumgarner noted that the organization has been supportive as have his teammates. He said he apologized to them as well for an act he characterized as “definitely not the most responsible decision.”

As for the wreck itself, Bumgarner was a bit embarrassed to say that it wasn’t the result of doing anything cool or spectacular on the bike. Sounds like he probably just laid the thing down. Guess it makes no real difference given that he’s injured either way, but you’d hope to at least get a cool story out of it. Alas.

Here’s video of him talking to the press. The best and most accurate takeaway from it: when he says “it sucks.” Yep.