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.


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