June 11, 2005
Their bats cooled off compared to last night, but the Nats managed to eke by with another frugal win (2-1) over the Mariners tonight, maintaining their lead over the Phillies. I know it's too early to seriously contemplate pennant races, but the further into the season the Nationals stay in contention, the bigger will the seldom-acknowledged conflict of interest based on their peculiar ownership status become. Will legal disputes prevent the sale of the franchise in time for the July 31 waiver-clearing trade deadline? Will the skimpy payroll budget prevent the team from making a bid for the talent they need to get to October? Are the Nationals going to be given a fair chance to win or not??? And even if they do win the pennant somehow, who will accept the NL championship trophy from Bud Selig on the team's behalf, all 29 MLB franchise owners? Such prospects are too absurd to imagine, but the possibility cannot be dismissed outright.
Today's Fox Game of the Week between the two perennially cursed teams, Cubs and Red Sox, more than lived up to its billing. Back and forth the whole way, with the outcome in doubt until the very last pitch. The Cubs have risen above adversity of recent pitching injuries, and if Derrek Lee keeps hitting the way he has been, they just may make another run for the postseason.
The guy who hit the first RBI for the Nationals last night had a name that was unfamiliar to me: Rick Short. He was just called up after playing for eleven years in the minors and Japan. Now his name has vanished from the team roster as quickly as it appeared, and the story about his brief moment in the big leagues has disappeared from the MLB Web site as well. [June 13 UPDATE: the link has been corrected on the Nats MLB site, and is likewise corrected above.] Chris Needham has some thoughts at Capitol Punishment, recalling a character from a certain classic film.