As the 4pm deadline crept ever closer the questions about a potential trade with the Minnesota Twins for CF Denard Span were met with silence. No one was talking about the trade. As the clock struck four, not a positive thing had been said about the prospects of the trade for four hours. Storen would remain a National, and entered the game to an ovation from the crowd of 25,307 on hand. Leading 2-1, Storen gave up a home run to Scott Hairston, his second of the day, to blow his fourth save this season. The Nationals went into the bottom of the ninth tied at two.
The trade deadline is a nebulous and crazy thing. Everyone seems to know someone who knows something about a AA prospect who heard from the trainer that he’s being traded to play at Tulsa for a guy whose name ended in A. or was it Y? Either way, sure thing.
This is the time of the baseball season where everyone can play armchair general manager, saying that the team should trade for this guy, or for that one, or for the love of God get player X off the roster, because he’s a bum. Today has been no different than the usual.
Yesterday, the Nationals made a pair of solid trades that sent Jason Marquis to the Arizona Diamondbacks for shortstop Zachery Walters, and Jerry Hairston Jr. to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Erik Komatsu. Both were to be free agents at the end of this season, and neither would have granted a compensatory pick, and coupled with the fact that Arizona is assuming $2.5M of Marquis’ salary, and we got two strong minor leaguers, I’m going to call this one an unmitigated success.
The audience: 30,114 in paid attendance.
The critics: an overflowing Press Box with Taiwanese media swarming.
The stage: Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
The Man of the Hour: Chien-Ming Wang
When right-handed starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang was acquired by the Washington Nationals in 2010, many wondered if he would have a successful recovery following surgery on a capsule in his right shoulder.
Wang, who won 19 games each in 2006 and 2007 for the New York Yankees, missed the rest of the team’s championship season in 2009 due to injury. Friday night was his first night back on a Major League mound.
It was a shaky start but Nationals manager Davey Johnson admitted he was impressed with what he saw despite Wang allowing four runs, four singles, and a leadoff walk to the first five batters he faced. Continue reading
It is the season of the Rickey cocktail. Recently proclaimed the official potable of the District, everybody has been talking about Rickeys. As July, aka Rickey Month draws to a close, many bartenders around the city are featuring variations on the classic summer refreshment, culminating in an event at Jack Rose on Monday night. (Our team will be covering that for you next week.) In that spirit, I felt compelled to tell you about my favorite recent Rickey – the Riquitita at Estadio.
Is there a group in DC more hated than the Park Police?
Okay, okay, besides the current subjects of local political scandals. And the Congress. And the credit rating agencies. And the leadership of the Congress.
That being said, it’s hard to look at the organization that is the United States Park Police and not wonder exactly who it is that’s running the show over there, and why it is that they think they can hold back the world from various fun-related activities. It’s as if they have been setup as the nation’s funmongers, controlling the nation’s fun supply in the extreme and telling us that there is no dancing, no food trucks, harassing the pedicabs, preventing bus stops and now, no soccer near the White House.
FC Barcelona, world soccer’s equivalent of the New York Yankees, in town to play Manchester United at Fedex Field on Saturday, were kicked off the Ellipse for trying to have a little kick around. Sure, they didn’t have a permit, and it was within sight of the White House, and it could’ve been a mob scene if they’d been recognized by soccer fans, but c’mon now, Park Police, this is a little bit ridiculous.
Head over to Red Palace Friday night for an evening of sultry, dreamy indie-folk with Boston chanteuse Marissa Nadler. Her music is melancholic and lovely, at times reminiscent of Mazzy Star. She has received a good amount of buzz lately: her self-titled album was featured on NPR’s First Listen, and she was one of SPIN’s 5 best new artists in June. Her single “Baby, I Will Leave You In the Morning” from her latest album was featured on the Pitchfork Playlist. She’s wrapping up her summer tour of US and Canada with fellow Boston indie-folksters Faces on Film.
There are about 50 hours left until the non-waiver trade deadline in Major League Baseball, and if you thought the rumor mill on the Hill was busy, the baseball rumor mill has it matched. The last two days ahead of the trade deadline are often the busiest of the season, with deals getting done well into the midnight hours. So what might we expect from the Nationals? According to Sports Illustrated, GM Mike Rizzo has said that the Nats are “buyers and sellers,” and “If we think there’s a good trade out there that helps this team, we’ll make it.”
Hayes Carll plays country music I can get into. Last Saturday he turned the Rock & Roll Hotel into a honky tonk for the night when he and his band The Poor Choices brought their foot-stompin’ blend of country, bar-room rock & twangy folk to the stage. Texas native Carll and his gang are on US tour right now in support of his fourth studio album “KMAG, YOYO (& Other American Stories) “, released in February of this year on Lost Highway Records.
Hayes Carll packed the house, playing to a sold-out crowd of very enthusiastic Washingtonians. Cowboy boots and even a few cowboy hats were in the house (not onstage), though I wouldn’t say the audience looked particularly “country”. Country or not, they were clearly excited and into the music of the evening. Carll started off his set on a mild note with the quiet, twangy “The Letter,” from his latest album “KMAG, YOYO.” He and the band were just warming up, though. Things sped up a little for “Wild As A Turkey”, from his album “Trouble In Mind.” The song showcased his humorous, sometime self-deprecating lyrics, and warbling vocal style.
Tom: While the mercury is once again heading for the triple digits, I’ll be helping a client move their offices into Dupont this weekend, just a stone’s through from the delicious Shake Shack. Perhaps after the long day, you’ll catch me heading for Rita’s Water Ice on Rhode Island Avenue. Sunday, I’ll head for my usual breakfast haunt before hitting the Ballpark for the last of the Nationals/Mets series. Sunday night will see me out in my neighborhood stoopin’ it with some bourbon cherry lemonade, and the warm Sunday evening.
Jenn: For the second weekend in a row I’ll be escaping town. But if I were here, I’d check out as many of the Rickey contestants as possible. Earlier this month, the Rickey was officially named DC’s native cocktail at a proclamation reading and then a plaque dedication at its creation site (now the JW Marriott). Never heard of the Rickey? Here’s your history lesson. The DC Craft Bartenders Guild is also putting on its annual Rickey Contest, ending with a showdown on Monday, August 1 at the Jack Rose. For some reason the contest’s been very under the radar this year, but luckily the always intrepid Fritz Hahn has the scoop. Judging last year was a fantastic experience for me, and as it’s a great way to sample the creativity of our local bartender talent I encourage you to check out the list – it’s not too late!
Interest in gardening is on the rise, from my neighbors growing tomatoes in patio containers to community gardens bursting with multiple produce plots. Increasingly there’s a practical need to provide access to affordable food through growing your own. Early this week I attended an intimate event honoring a local community gardening hero. It was by far one of the more inspiring evenings I’ve spent in a while, whose honoree proves that persistence to a simple idea and dedication to helping others can result in good for all.
For the past three years, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi has supported Giving Through Growing, a partnership program with the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA). This year they’ve awarded $40,000 to four community gardening ‘Heroes’ who made the grade in a nationwide contest, and Arlington’s Alison Kindler of the Fort Barnard Community Garden is one. Top Chef alum Candice Kumai is the GTG ambassador, and she was also on hand to salute Kindler’s efforts to enrich our community through growing fresh food for urban families. Fort Barnard has been in operation since 1975 – they even have their own bee hives! The garden works closely with the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), which helps provide groceries to families in need. Some 8% of Arlingtonians live below the poverty line and the percentage is increasing – AFAC distributes to over 1,200 families each week. Fort Barnard dedicates one of their garden plots exclusively to AFAC.
Kindler started gardening at Fort Barnard some twenty years ago, with a plot as a Father’s Day present for her husband. “Here, honey, you can go play in the dirt,” she quipped, but her main motivation at the time was really to grow organic produce and be able to put “healthy, safe food on the table.” Continue reading
If you’ve ever wanted a tourism villain, Lydia DePillis shows us today why that villain is Tourmobile, and not just the tour bus companies, people who stop outside the Metro car doors, and stand to the left on escalators. The monopoly that the Park Service has granted to the private enterprise for guided tours, a right which extends to signage for other transit options like the Circulator and Bikeshare, is something of a frustrating beast.
Definitely worth the time to click through and read this one, DC.
At least on Wednesday night, the Washington Nationals had the decency to make it interesting. Before losing 7-5 to the Florida Marlins and dropping further into the basement of the National League East, Washington managed to piece together four hits and a walk to score four runs in the bottom of the ninth. The last of those hits — a two-run single by Michael Morse — scored two runs and brought Laynce Nix, who had already hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 3-1 Florida at the time. Nix came within a foot of tying the game, lifting a Leo Nunez change-up very high in the air and very far into left field. But the ball had been hit a little too close to the end of Nix’s bat, the ball settled into Mike Stanton’s glove instead of in the Nationals bullpen, and Washington had officially lost eight of their last eleven games dating back to the All-Star Break.
In our ongoing “A Round With…” series, We Love DC chats with some of the interesting people behind our local bars.
In this installment, I had the opportunity to sit down with Rico Wisner at the recently-remodeled Bar Rouge inside the Hotel Rouge. The bar space has been expanded and spruced up – and, under Rico’s direction, the menu of wines on tap and craft cocktails has been upgraded as well.
The current menu is summer to the max, featuring combinations of flavors like pineapple with basil and blueberry with sage. Many of the key ingredients come from Wisner’s rooftop garden, the tending to which he describes as among the most gratifying parts of his work day. Unlike the garden he became accustomed to snipping from while working at Poste, the garden at Rouge is closed to the public and affords him a quiet moment to water, clip, and consider new recipes. Recipes like the extra-tasty San Juan Swizzle – a combination of ginger, rum, soda, and ruby port.
1. What is your current position and how did you get to where you are today?
Lounge Manager at Bar Rouge.
I started out bartending at a country club while in college. Within a couple of months I was the head bartender. I then bounced around to all kinds of places and ended up as the Bar Manager at McCormick & Schmick’s, that’s where I got into the history of cocktails and creating cocktails.
Then I joined Kimpton Hotels five years ago at Poste, where I shortly thereafter took over as the Bar Supervisor/Beverage Manager/Mixologist. Then in January I was promoted over to Bar Rouge to oversee the reconcepting of the bar and overhaul the beverage program.
You’ve seen it all over social media. You’ve heard Samuel L. Jackson and maybe even Werner Herzog narrate it. You’ve probably laughed your ass off. Even if you don’t have children and haven’t a clue how agonizingly painfully frustrating it can be to get them down for that nap, I bet you’ve heard of Go the F*ck to Sleep.
Author Adam Mansbach is in town tonight for a reading of his own work at P.J. Clarke’s from 6pm-8pm. The event is free and open to the public with copies of Go the F*ck to Sleep available for purchase and signing. It’s his only area appearance. Mansbach’s book is a current New York Times bestseller and definitely one of the more hilarious satires around, but he’s also no slouch in other areas – such as being the founding editor of ’90s hip hop journal Elementary, an authority on hip hop culture and aesthetics, and author of notable novels like Angry Black White Boy.
Not bad cred. I think I’ll pick up a signed copy for my newbie parent friends. Hopefully they won’t throw it at me for not being sleep deprived and surrounded by diapers.
The Washington Nationals are last in the National League East for the first time since June 14. They descended to this low point after losing 11-2 to the Florida Marlins Tuesday night in front of 24,650 on a relatively pleasant night (in meteorological terms, anyway) at Nationals Park. The loss is the seventh the Nats have suffered in their ten games since the All-Star break and this particular performance should choke out whatever life was left in any hope that Washington could make a surprise run up the National League Wild Card standings. It is true that the Nationals only have the sixth-worst record in the National League and are still only four games under .500 (49-53 after Tuesday night), but if their recent run of form is any guide, the relatively fertile period of mid-June has turned out to be a mirage and the club is regressing dangerously.
The tone for the evening was set by starter Jordan Zimmermann, who gave up a triple to the second batter of the game, Omar Infante. The Florida second baseman went on to score on an RBI groundout by Greg Dobbs, the first of five runs that Dobbs would drive in over the course of the evening. Zimmermann has been very, very good throughout this season for the Nationals, but he was off tonight, particularly in the first five innings. He was leaving far too many of his pitches up in the strike zone, and the Marlins treated his offerings with the contempt they deserved, banging out seven hits in the first five innings, with four going for extra bases. Even more disconcerting were the two hit batsmen on Zimmermann’s record, as many as he’d hit all season entering Tuesday night. Arguably the biggest moment in the game came with two out in the third inning, when Zimmermann hit Hanley Ramirez with an 0-1 fastball with the score already 2-0 in Florida’s favor after Zimmermann had coaxed a 4-6-3 double play out of Dobbs, with Emilio Bonifacio crossing the plate in the process. Two pitches to Logan Morrison later, the Nationals were behind 4-0 and Morrison was circling the bases after depositing his 16th home run of the season into the Nationals bullpen.
In fairness to Zimmermann, he has now pitched 126.2 innings this season, by far the most in his major league career, and with his much-noted 160-inning limit fast-approaching, it would not be in the least surprising to either see more outings like this one or to see him handled much more gently and with a much shorter leash.
The Nationals offense, true to usual form, was about as exciting to watch as molasses. Continue reading
Adams Morgan sure has it good with Tryst. I’m always in envy of my friends who live in close proximity to this classic coffeehouse – as they lounge around, using it as their office so often they get sandwiches named after them. It’s hard to believe Tryst’s been in operation since 1998, one of the pioneers of the cafe/bar/lounge hybrids that have become so deservedly popular. When you can hang around pounding down well-poured Counter Culture coffee morning til afternoon and then switch over to happy hour and sip well-crafted cocktails, all the while randomly meeting up with friends and catching up spontaneously, that’s a true “third place.” I love it.
Tryst’s beverage director, David Fritzler, not only knows his coffee but can mix up a daring Blue Blazer, as we learned in a Drinks profile last year. He’s also started up Tiki Tuesdays with ten new cocktails and a fiery Volcano Bowl (wait, trend alert! Tiki must be in, as Tryst is following in the footsteps of The Passenger’s popular Tiki Tuesdays. It’s only a matter of time before we’re all Tiki bar-hopping in hulu skirts!). Plus as it’s Rickey Month here in DC, you can try his version of DC’s official cocktail – the Summer Lovin’ Rickey.
Just as in love with Tryst is Scoutmob, newly launched in DC last week offering deals that are exclusively from locally-owned restaurants and boutique shops. As we’re all about local here at We Love DC, we’re happy to partner with Scoutmob as they showcase what’s unique about our city. Today they’re offering a 50% off discount to Tryst, which would certainly help a cappuccino obsession like mine. It’s free, like all Scoutmob’s deals. But in addition they’ve got a special giveaway for our readers – a $365 Tryst giftcard! You’ve got a week to enter for a chance to win, just by joining the mob and signing up for their email alerts. Seriously, $365 of Counter Culture coffee drinks, housemade sodas, craft cocktails, not to mention all-day brunch and the Ben sandwich and… ok, I’m heading over now. Meet you there.
So I couldn’t come up with very many good Wednesday songs to fit with this week’s music theme. So go do yourself a favor and listen to Chet Atkins’ jazzy number, “Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting.” And then go bask in some food truck glory to help you through hump day.