City Desk

Cheap Seats Daily: Sally Jenkins Gets Mugged In Our House?

The same ol' Natinals. Only worse, says the Washington Post's Chico Harlan, whose game stories get more fabulous as the team gets less. From Harlan's latest truth-telling gem:

"If anything, the first four games of [new manager Jim] Riggleman's tenure introduced an even lower grade of achievement and fortune. At least during the typical Manny Acta homestand, the Nationals could count on the occasional rainout to spare them from a loss."

A guy riding to the stadium in the same Metro car as me to yesterday's game was wearing a Cubs jersey and carrying a broom. And if security let him into the stadium as is, he got to use the thing.

The four-game (!) reverse sweep was all but completed shortly after Nats SS Alberto Gonzales muffed an easy grounder in the 4th inning. Chicago scored 7 runs in about the next three minutes. Nats castoff Alfonso Soriano hit a monster homer to key the rally.

But the heaviest blow in the scoring binge came when Cubs starting pitcher Kevin Hart faked a bunt, then pulled his bat back while Garrett Mock was in mid-hurl and slapped a run-scoring single to left field. This ultimate show of disrespect brought giggles from the Cubs fans, and groans from the Nats'.

In other words, there were more giggles than groans from the mostly blueshirted crowd at Nationals Park.

Bottom line: The home team needs some Thunderation!

(AFTER THE JUMP: Sally Jenkins gets grounded and pounded by anti-Lance crowd? Snyder to buy up the competition AGAIN? Brock Lesnar brings the heat to MMA Nation?


Great dust-up in the comments section over the weekend between Sally Jenkins and Lance Armstrong's accusers. The brouhaha surrounded Frankie Andreu, the former Lance Armstrong teammate who once said in a court case that Armstrong confessed to doping and has never taken back his words. Jenkins stopped by Cheap Seats Daily in the comments section to mistakenly say Andreu had never accused Armstrong of doping. And before she could confess and correct her error — Andreu sure had made the accusation — the anti-Armstrong crowd had taken the opening Jenkins gave them and rip, rip, ripped her.

The amazing upshot amid the flames: According to Betsy Andreu, wife of Frankie and another Armstrong accuser, Jenkins has never called either of them to talk about the doping allegations they've leveled under oath against Armstrong.

Jenkins has reasons to protect Armstrong beyond what she's disclosed here. The L.A. Times recently reported that Sony has been working up a movie of Armstrong's 2000 memoir, "It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life," a book written with Jenkins.

If that movie gets made, the book's authors would could be in for a big payday, though Jenkins herself says she has "zero expectation of even being invited to consult." If Armstrong's name gets sullied, that movie's not being made.


The Sports Business Journal (subscription required) is saying MLS attendance is way down this year, and that DC United's crowds are off nearly 29 percent from last year's.

But Saturday's game at RFK drew an announced crowd of 18,248. That's huge, all things considered.

Yes, there was the added attraction of a Washington Freedom preliminary game. But United kicked off at the same time that the USA national squad was on TV playing in a CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal, a much higher credibility contest.

So if Saturday's official numbers from RFK are on the level, that's means there are a lot of United fans, and not just soccer fans, in this market.


Rumor of the week: DCRTV is hearing that Dan Snyder's now trying to buy WJFK. That's the station that launched its all-sports format this morning to compete against WTEM, the station Snyder bought last year to, of course: Control the Message!

What would it do to Snyder's reputation if he really tried to buy up the competition AGAIN? Well, obviously, there's nothing Snyder can do to his reputation around here that he hasn't already done.

But I still say there's no way he pulls the trigger. (But, Dan, if you're really looking for more media properties: I read here that City Paper's up for auction. What about us? We're all gonna work for you someday anyway, right?)


Brock Lesnar's great for MMA. Luke Thomas on "MMA Nation" at WJFK on Saturday kept repeating that his ultimate fighting show got a record number of calls, and that the MMA website he runs, "The Bloody Elbow," set record after record for page views last week after MMA 100.

"Thank you Brock Lesnar," Thomas told his presumably record audience.


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  • Angry Al Gonzales

    We only have half MLB in DC - Nats are a bad AAA team. Armstrong is a cheater & a fascist. Snyder is a fool & a clown & his wife is a trashy JC Penney bitch.

  • sally jenkins

    Dave, I respect your work, which is why I come on here and comment, but you make two misstatements. First, I corrected my mistake just a couple of minutes or so after I made the first post, when I realized I was wrong. Nobody beat me to it, and I didnt need to be prodded. Second, I have no film rights to Armstrong's book, I surrendered them ten years ago when I signed on to write it. If Armstrong's story becomes a movie, I won't see a dime. My relationship with Armstrong is based on two things: our experiences writing together, and the friendship we developed. I don't doubt the integrity of the Andreus, but I flatly disagree with them about Armstrong, and the case they were involved in went in Armstrong's favor. It's that simple. As for calling them, I'm not a reporter where Armstrong is concerned, I'm his friend, and his writing partner, and had ZERO obligation to do so. I read the trial testimony and made up my own mind, which is what anyone should do. Furthermore, I know exactly how Betsey Andreu feels about Armstrong. I sat next to her at dinner once, and listened to it all night. Yours truly, Sally J.

  • Skipper

    Good job Dave! Way to raise the bar with basic fact-checking, like looking to see when Jenkins made the blog comment and when she corrected it.

    You suck at basic reporting.

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  • Betsy Andreu

    Here we go. I barely spoke with you that dinner Sally. We barely even spoke of lance at the dinner table. I was too busy taking care of our baby who was just a year at the time. You wouldn't know, but it is difficult to take care of a baby and carry on an indepth conversation. It also would've been pretty stupid for me to "go off" on lance with you, Sally, given that you're his chief propagandist. When you called our home in 1999 or 2000 to get "fun stories" on Lance (your words directly to me), I politely declined. You are a liar when you insinuate you "listened to it all night". We barely spoke and nothing adverse was ever mentioned about lance to you or your partner by me whatsoever. Why not tell that truth? It simply doesn't fit into your agenda.
    And about the testimonies and depositions, you obviously didn't read them all or kept on your rose-colored glasses when you did so.
    You have the integrity of lance. No surprise you write what you do.

  • suzanne


    In my opinion how can you be a trusted writer if you don't check your facts? That blows my mind. To me that is completely irresponsible and in my opinion who can respect that.

    Betsy is too smart of a women to go on all night about Lance to someone she does not trust, that's a fact for you.

  • michele

    Hey Sally, the only thing you exhibit ZERO obligation to is the truth. Read this and get back to us, you soulless carapace:

  • michele

    Wait a sec. I just realized that Jenkins said she had ZERO obligation to fact check her book.

  • michele

    In the absence of fact checking, Jenkins' title should be 'stenographer', though 'sap' or 'lying sack of poop' also work.

  • Dave McKenna

    Sally: i respect your work, too, which explains why i've milked your kind visits here for so many digital column inches.

    i should have called you to let you say that as things now stand you will not be made richer if a Lance Armstrong movie based on your book is made. i have made a change in the copy to reflect that.

    but while i got you: why haven't you or the Post ever done a story on the Greg LeMond tapes or the Frankie Andreu testimony? (i apologize if one or more such piece was done that i'm not aware of.) tell me that's not a fascinating tale, sally! i dare you! LeMond's recorded phone conversations are chilling! the guy is so afraid of lance armstrong that he can't finish a sentence, and the content of what they're saying is DEVASTATING to armstrong; and then that lady admits to lying and being totally terrified of what lance is going to do to her if she tells the truth, and she keeps begging lemond to know if he's taping the conversation! ewwwww!

    sally, you're seen as the font of all things lance armstrong. this is just a hobby for me. but this LeMond/Andreu crowd is interesting as hell, you gotta agree.
    We're not talking about folks from the underbelly of society making these accusations. we're talking about, in lemond, a multiple tour winner, a national hero, the guy who was lance armstrong before there was a lance armstrong, and in Frankie Andreu, an armstrong teammate whose words and failure to recant have cost him untold dollars. Lemond, you could say, is just jealous that his place in cycling history has been stolen by armstrong; but what's in it for the Andreus to take on the Armstong Machine?

    what am i missing here?

    and, if not yours, why haven't those other news organizations in this country who trumpet the fabulous side of the Lance Armstrong legend bothered giving at least some space to those who say the real story isn't quite as fabulous.

    i mean, can anybody imagine how the Liberal Media would have handled Barry Bonds if he'd have been banging an Olsen twin?

    whoa! where did that come from? outta bounds! objection! strike that!

    butt seriously: i realize that with all the time and energy you've used on us here you could have written another book and completed a signing tour. so thanks again for showing up, and for all the courage it took to, you know, Play the Feud™! be well...

  • Don M.

    Dave: Unfortunately, you're not missing anything. Every one of your questions is valid and has been asked before on numerous occasions. It just seems that to ask them, never mind answer them, flies in the face of a carefully crafted and meticulously managed media juggernaut.

    What exactly are the Andreu's motivations?

    Fame? That would be like being famous for telling kids there's no Santa Claus. Every day the Andreus are portrayed as charlatans, or cancer "lovers" or just plain un-American because of their refusal to compromise their principles. Some kind of fame, indeed.

    Fortune? Frankie Andreu was released by the Toyota United cycling team under suspicious circumstances and has had a number of commentary opportunities snatched away (just look at the quality of the current Universal Sports online commentators compared to the excellent work Andreu did for that organization all of last year).

    Additionally, Betsy Andreu has stated in several interviews that they have had to "tighten the belt" as a result of the decrease in media opportunities for Frankie.

    To hear that Ms. Jenkins feels not the least bit of compunction regarding her abject lack of fact checking is, unfortunately, both terribly disappointing and not the least bit unexpected.

    Ms. Jenkins seems quite capable of dismissing herself as merely a friend of Armstrong, rather than a legitimate reporter. How refreshing it would be if she would be as forthcoming in her published works of fiction (both in print and online) as she is in the relative safety and obscurity of these comments.

  • RT

    Sally, I don't respect your work at all. Please leave the Washington Post and go work for the New York Post. You have no business writing for a Washington Paper. You don't even know what goes on here, unless it's bad.

  • Davevil

    It's impossible if one looks at all the evidence to think Lance was clean during his 7 Tours, and he's probably back to his old tricks after seeing him ride today.

    Michele Ferrari - check that one out in depth, his doping pioneer doctor. Also, the failed tests of 99 - both the EPO failure and the corticosteroid failure - he's failed twice, just never been sanctioned.

    Second place through tenth place of all of his victories - do a bit on each. They're all out of the sport via suspension, or death. And they've all been proven to be doped to the gills, and Armstrong, through "busting his ass on his bike six hours a day" was supposed to have walloped a chemically charged peloton 7 years running? Ri-i-ight.

    In cycling, it's c'est le metier - part of the job. You dope, it's that simple. Armstrong started well before his cancer, and there's even a solid medical argument out there that his drug abuse spurred his cancer on. Read up on it, please don't believe me.

    It's a sad but true parallel - "The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it". And Armstrong's entire career on the bike is a lie. All the philanthropy is nice, great for cancer, etc, but it's all built on the bricks of fraud. There is no Santa Claus, and Lance wasn't clean.

    For Sally, it's obvious she likes the guy, but it's equally obvious she's been drinking the Kool-Aid in gallons.

    Lance Armstrong doped - systematically - plain and simple.

    Refrigerated panniers, anyone? (look that one up, too - andreu and vaughters text exchange)

    One more thing - the SCA case Sally mentions that went in Lance's favor. She's right, it did, but only on the grounds of the letter of the law. The contract said "you win and we'll pay you" - SCA promotions failed to add any caveat of whether or not doping would play a part in that, so that evidence was not admissible. It's a shallow victory the Armstrong camp loves to purport as true and a showing of honesty. It was a technicality, actually. It's about as trumped up and hollow as the Vrijman report.

  • Arthur Delaney

    Every time I watch the Nats, I am appalled by their poor fielding. They look lazy as shit to me. I just wanted to say that on here.

  • Hipolito M. Wiseman

    thanks !! very helpful post!