#TBT to "Nationals Classics": Two n's, one hit in two whole games

#TBT to "Nationals Classics": Two n's, one hit in two whole games
As miserable as it can be in most of the country, weather-wise, February is normally a joyous time for baseball fans, as it means the start of spring training in the sunny climes of Florida and Arizona. But as Bill Murray experienced on film one February, baseball could be having, in the words often attributed to an oft-quoted Yankees catcher, deja vu all over again. Just as it did last year, COVID-19 has made the schedules for spring training and the regular season anything but a sure...
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"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Clinchers and a milestone blast

"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Clinchers and a milestone blast
There's still snow on the ground, but that may be a temporary condition, with temperatures in the 50s being predicted for tomorrow. My back is still sore from shoveling, though the pre-snow removal Tylenol seems to have helped considerably. All in all, I'm ready for warmer weather. Spring can be sprung any time. Who's with me? Well, we're all in the same boat. Depending on what the groundhog said in Punxsutawney, Pa., on Tuesday - and whether you believe in old tales dependent on the sun...
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On the passing of a great reporter and an even better person

On the passing of a great reporter and an even better person
Those of us who work in baseball in this area and region today are feeling such a loss. Our friend here at MASN and MASNsports.com, our treasured colleague, Mel Antonen, passed away last night. Mel was 64 and battled a rare autoimmune disease and other health issues that made his battle against this disease one that was beyond challenging. That word just doesn't do it justice here. Baltimore-area media and friends of Mel would get updates over about the last year this was all going on. Mel...
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Remembering Mel Antonen

Remembering Mel Antonen
"I'm gonna beat this." Every conversation with Mel Antonen over the past year, every email, every Zoom, every FaceTime, every single interaction included these words. Dealt a horrible hand with multiple health issues - something called hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, a rare autoimmune disease that attacked his liver, followed by bouts with COVID-19 and then lymphoma - Mel battled to the very end. Unfortunately, that came late Saturday night, when he passed in his sleep. Mel was 64. I...
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"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Something old, something new

"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Something old, something new
We're rapidly running out of January. Assuming we're still on the Gregorian calendar - I, for one, take nothing for granted - that means we'll soon be in February, which means spring training! That, of course, assumes that pandemic-induced protocols don't postpone it. Like I said, take nothing for granted. So while we wait out these last few weeks (or more) before things start hopping at the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota, Fla., what's a shivering O's fan to do? Watch "Orioles...
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#TBT to "Nationals Classics": Hitting the home stretch of the offseason

#TBT to "Nationals Classics": Hitting the home stretch of the offseason
Who's ready to turn the page to the 2021 season? Well, in just a few weeks (pandemic willing, mind you), spring training will be upon us. There are few words more glorious to a baseball-starved fan than "pitchers and catchers report." Well, "full-squad workout" and "Play ball!" are pretty close. While we wait for things to get underway in West Palm Beach, Fla., MASN will continue to feed your baseball jones with "Nationals Classics" from days past. This week's offerings include a...
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Sutton left lasting impression across baseball, including D.C.

Sutton left lasting impression across baseball, including D.C.
To Dodgers fans, he was the stalwart member of a championship-caliber pitching staff in the 1970s. To Braves fans, he was the soothing and smart voice who shared his exceptional insight on the air throughout the 1990s and 2000s. To Orioles fans, he was the Brewers' Game 162 starter who dashed their dream of a miracle final weekend surge to the 1982 American League East title. And to countless other baseball fans, he was the Hall of Fame right-hander who never let up during a 23-year career, a...
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#TBT to "Nationals Classics": Catching some Z's

#TBT to "Nationals Classics": Catching some Z's
The National Football League playoffs have come down to four teams, and the scheduled start of spring training is less than a month away. Whether the ongoing pandemic will permit it to begin on schedule this year is another matter. But for baseball fans, February is all about hopefulness, right? Meantime, a maintenance dose of "Nationals Classics" can keep your baseball jones in check. This week's batch includes some notable performances by a couple of guys whose names surely came last when...
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"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Pushing toward playoffs

"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Pushing toward playoffs
Greater Baltimore still stings a little since Sunday, when the Ravens took one on the chin in Buffalo, but now our region's sports fans can turn their full attention to the approach of spring training, whenever it actually is to start. Assessing the status of the Orioles rebuilding project should prove interesting. Meanwhile, we can take a look at the not-too-distant past to remind ourselves what a contending O's squad looks like. The Birds enjoyed a resurgance in the mid-2010s, making the...
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"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Trumbo and Davis deliver

"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Trumbo and Davis deliver
As I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate small ball, the art of the opposite-field single, the sacrifice bunt, hitting behind the runner, the cat-and-mouse between a speedster taking a lead and the pitcher trying to make sure he stays put. But one cannot deny the thrill of seeing a muscular dude launching a fastball that gets too much of the plate. Though you'll also see some of the former in this week's "Orioles Classics," the latter takes center stage. In the principal roles of big...
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#TBT to "Nationals Classics": A healthy dose of Strasburg and Zimmerman

#TBT to "Nationals Classics": A healthy dose of Strasburg and Zimmerman
With the new year here and spring training hopefully right around the corner, we're ramping up this week's "Nationals Classics" on MASN to examine some of the strongest performances ever by guys with a curly W on their caps. When talking about the club's great pitchers, Stephen Strasburg is always mentioned - and with good reason. Two of his finest performances - a sparking debut and a playoff clincher - are among this week's broadcasts. Ditto for Ryan Zimmerman, the Nats' first draft...
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#TBT to "Nationals Classics": Near twinbill versus Twins

#TBT to "Nationals Classics": Near twinbill versus Twins
We're certainly not out of the woods as far as the pandemic is concerned, but with new vaccines making their way into the world and 2020 now in the rearview mirror, we have entered a season of hope, which is as it should be after the holidays have passed and we start counting down the days until pitchers and catchers report. Or are scheduled to, at least. This week's platter of "Nationals Classics," which includes multiple examples of a determined team snatching victory from the jaws of...
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"Orioles Classics" #TBT: 1970 revisited in the new year

"Orioles Classics" #TBT: 1970 revisited in the new year
Well, we made it. It's 2021. We can put last year behind us and look ahead. Like about six weeks, when spring training begins in Sarasota at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. For the moment, we'll assume camp starts as scheduled, but as we all know, these days everything is subject to change. Fingers crossed. In the meantime, we'll warm the winter chill with some "Orioles Classics" on MASN. This week's smattering of retro games includes a trip in the wayback machine to October 1970 and a...
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#TBT to "Nationals Classics": As new year dawns, some throwback memories

#TBT to "Nationals Classics": As new year dawns, some throwback memories
Happy New Year's Eve! Since it's a perfect time to reminisce, we've got some really good memories for you. Don't worry, only one of these comes from the dreadful year that's got exactly one more day left. And even that one will bring a smile. But as we ponder the unpainted canvas of 2021, enjoy these "Nationals Classics" on MASN that are guaranteed to please. OK, there could be some fist-banging angst, too. But that's all part of the game, right? And from our corner of cyberspace to...
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"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Some things never get old

"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Some things never get old
So long, 2020. Don't let the door whack your backside on your way out. The general consensus seems to be that the year that draws to a close tonight at midnight can't be over soon enough. As if social and political turmoil and a deadly virus sweeping the globe weren't awful enough, the pandemic also screwed up the baseball season. With new vaccines approved and inoculations begun, we're all crossing our fingers in hopes that we can kick COVID-19 to the curb in 2021, and that spring training...
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"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Prodigious power displays and postseason memories

"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Prodigious power displays and postseason memories
Well, are you ready for Christmas? Most of my online shopping was done in early November, meaning fewer shipping delays than if I'd waited for another month. But there was the curious case of several packages that spent a week resting in Hagerstown or West Virginia before being delivered. Yes, I'm looking at you, United States Postal Service, and your silly tracking system that merely says that delivery has been delayed, without giving any update of significance. Everything is boxed, bagged...
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#TBT to "Nationals Classics": Ghosts of Natsmas past

#TBT to "Nationals Classics": Ghosts of Natsmas past
'Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house ... the sets were tuned to MASN for lots of great baseball action on "Nationals Classics." OK, so it's not Clement Moore. It's not even Dinty Moore. But clunky poetry aside, if you're holed up for a low-key holiday season, there's nothing like a few ghosts of Natsmas past to brighten up your yuletide. You'll see a couple of Nationals stars when they were mere lads announcing their presence in a very un-Tiny-Tim-like fashion....
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#TBT to "Nationals Classics": Stoking the hot stove with retro wins

#TBT to "Nationals Classics": Stoking the hot stove with retro wins
Admittedly, the hot stove has been, well, a tad chilly so far this offseason. Sure, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo is talking to other executives, but we've yet to see anything resembling a big move out of him. Which is OK, given that some of Rizzo's splashiest deals seem to come out of nowhere. So what's a baseball-starved Nats fan to do? Between online shopping excursions and gift-wrapping marathons, check out this week's bevy of "Nationals Classics" on MASN. They will warm your...
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"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Temporarily derailing the Rays

"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Temporarily derailing the Rays
The winter solstice is upon us, bringing more darkness than most of us would like as we witness the shortest days of the year. But look on the bright side: Beginning Tuesday, they start getting longer again. Shoot, before you know it, it'll be mid-February and pitchers and catchers will be checking in at the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota, Fla. We hope. Especially given the current surge in the ongoing pandemic, it can be difficult to keep the winter doldrums from creeping into your...
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"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Something for everyone

"Orioles Classics" #TBT: Something for everyone
If you're still putting together your holiday shopping list - and are not one of those folks who likes to have everything bought, wrapped and ready to go by, say, Halloween - you're familiar with the idea that some folks are just plain hard to buy for. This week's rotation of "Orioles Classics" on MASN has a little bit of something for everyone. Whatever you like to see when you watch a baseball game - powerful offensive displays, pitching prowess, sparkling defense, historical...
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