Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Letdown

Pedro Martinez makes his season debut at RFK a week after instigating the first benches-clearing altercation in Nats' history when he plunked Jose Guillen for a second time. Everyone's looking for blood, but I'm going out on a limb and say we'll all be disappointed.

A few years ago I was at the Yankees/Orioles brawl game at Yankee Stadium, started when Armando Benitez took his frustration at allowing a would-be game-losing three-run bomb to Bernie Williams by nailing Stinko Martinez right in the back. Great game, for sure, but that's another story for another time. The next night, ESPN had the game as their Wednesday Night game, and hyped the hell out of it. What would happen next? Nuttin'. Just another routine boring drubbing, most likely -- who can remember the boring games?

Besides, the team would best be focused on winning a farkin' game for once instead.

Tony Armas goes out to the mound, hopefully to build on his strong,but short start last week in Houston. Watch his fastball. If it's getting fouled off, it's going to be a short night for him and a long night for us. If they're swinging and missing, the Nats could steal a game.


Lots of news in the paper today about the ownership situation (DOB has all the articles for your linking pleasure) Noted troll, Bob DuPuy says something could get done by the end of next week. But the real story is the story about how the Lerner Group's bid isn't black enough.

Some have read that as MLB greasing the skids, explaining in advance why they can't take Lerner, to help ease the sting when they ram Jerry Renisdorf's boy, Jeff Smulyan up our keisters.

I don't see it that way. I see it as if MLB is fully prepared to name Lerner the victor, but that they want to have all their Is dotted and Qs crossed. Apparently he was advised previously that he needs to turn a darker shade of gray. Although the articles hint that he may have, they haven't been forthcoming about actual names. I read this as MLB's shot across the bow (or fastball up and in if you prefer a baseball blog to have baseball metaphors/cliches). They're saying, "Hey Lerner. We love you, and we asked you before, but we really need you to find some strong minority investors. You haven't done it yet, so we're going to embarrass you by leaking it to the Post. And if you don't shape up, we'll pick the Dog BBQer or the failed former owner."

And what will MLB get out of this? When Lerner names his minority partner, presumably one who's going to actually be more than a prop, MLB will be able to trumpet him to the local press, show that they 'understand' DC, and that they 'care', and one of the potential questions/criticisms that the poo-pooers in the local political scene will be preemptively negated.

I could be wrong, but it looks like Lerner's in good shape if he can find a good minority partner. And unless Lerner's a fan of Nathan Bedford Forrest, I'm sure he and his minions are looking for one now. The sooner he finds one, the sooner we've got our owner. And the sooner Tony Tavares gets to walk back to California.


  • I don't think the bullpens emptied for that one? I can't remember.

    Regardless, I'm not viewing that in the same light. What happened last week was a direct result of what happened on the field, not two old bastards jawing at each other and a crazy young outfielder looking for revenge.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/12/2006 5:35 PM  

  • This whole ownership complexion thing could also be just another stall. If I'm the potential new owner I'd want MLB to hold off naming me until the All-Star Break. There's so much resentment for the current front office built up amongst many fans (including me) that it might be impossible for the new owner to swoop in and make things better, e.g. the way Arte Moreno dropped beer prices the first day. Putting up photocopied prices on a hundred beer stands works because there were a hundred stands - something missing at RFK.

    Delaying naming the owner also lets the new group let the current front office take the blame for another season of the worst customer service in professional sports. And it gives the new front office a few months at the back half of the season to learn the ropes.

    Yes, I see conspiracy theories.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/12/2006 11:25 PM  

  • The bullpens did empty in Anaheim. I think there was a fair amount of emotion there, both teams were ready to go at each other to defend their managers, and Jose was looking for blood.

    On a separate note, I vote for Guillen to get the lame duck this time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/13/2006 12:37 AM  

  • A wary fan, you aren't kidding about the customer service. Waiting on line at the walkup ticket trailer yesterday was the most agonizing experience I've ever had at a baseball game in my life. It's worse than it was last year. I won't make that mistake again.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/13/2006 10:57 AM  

  • Great news! MLB.TV is blacking out Nationals games this year! I live in Silver Spring and subscribed all last season. It was wonderful paying $14.95 a month to watch the games on the awesome 2-inch Windows Media Player screen, but hey, it was better than nothing. So now, this year, with the drastic reduction in broadcast games, MLB has seen fit to black out even the lame 2-inch screen games. Whoohoo! Bud rocks!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/13/2006 1:33 PM  

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