Hot Stove League update: The Nationals sign a guy named “Pudge.”

The Washington Times headline writer assumes everybody knows who the Pudge in question is. The Nats’ new Pudge, AKA Ivan Rodriguez, no longer wears the nickname real well.

First of all, he’s 38 years old, and “Pudge” is one of those handles that doesn’t age with grace, unlike, say, “The Splendid Splinter.”

Also, Pudge Rodriguez is much skinnier than he used to be back when he hit a lot of homers and there were all sorts of steroid rumors about him.

One of the most lovable things about the loser Nats teams of recent years is how many fat guys they’ve had on the roster, among them Ronnie Belliard, Cristian Guzman, and, of course, Dimitri “Big Waist of Talent” Young. I hope Rodriguez fattens up again when he gets here.

By any means necessary.

(AFTER THE JUMP: Caron Butler brings huge local hoops rivals to same gym? You’re still trying to promote DeMatha/Montrose Christian like it’s DeMatha/St. Anthony’s? 9-7 used to win you an NCAA Championship? Open Letter Tracking Service debuts?)

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Big and interesting doubleheader tomorrow night at Coolidge, and one that should stoke the hottest rivalry on the DC boys hoops scene. The 3rd Annual Caron Butler High School Basketball Classic will have Montrose Christian vs. Roosevelt, followed by DeMatha vs. Coolidge.

The games should show how big the talent gap is this season between the DC public school teams and those from the private schools. Expect some blowouts: Currently, DeMatha of Hyattsville is ranked 8th in the country by MaxPreps; Montrose Christian, in Rockville, is ranked 9th by the same service.

Neither Coolidge nor Montrose Roosevelt even show up in the DC Metro polls.

The drama off the court will be as intense as that on the hardwood. Local prep basketball fans have been itching for Montrose and DeMatha to face each other for years.

But, as the Washington Post wrote up last week, the teams won’t play, with Montrose coach Stu Vetter and DeMatha’s Mike Jones both blaming the other program for preventing the matchup from taking place.

For now, they’ll have to settle for them simply sharing the same gym on the same night. Look for both coaches to be pressed about the rivalry. Proceeds from the night will be divided among participating schools. Imagine how big the kitty would be if DeMatha and Montrose were going at it.

Pacquiao and Mayweather are finally going to get in the ring. So let’s get it on, DeMatha and Montrose!

If the games themselves ain’t enough of a draw, the Butler connection should bring in a crowd. According to promotional materials, Butler will make sure that fans who bring canned goods to the event get a certificate good for tickets to a Wizards game.

Probably a game against the Memphis Grizzlies, but still…

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Speaking of another Butler: Butler, the university, is in town NYC tonight to play the Hoyas, so the Washington Post gives us a big feature on the Indiana school.

At least, I think Butler’s an Indiana school. I can’t find where the school’s located anywhere in the story.

Anyway, the coolest part of the package comes in the photo on the front page of the Sports section. Three Butler players are shown sitting beneath the banners that hang in the school’s antique field house. One says “National Champions Men’s Basketball 1924.” The team’s record, also on the banner: 9-7. People talk about today’s NFL having parity? Nah. Back in 1924, the NCAA had PARITY!

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I now have an outta-control fetish with “Open Letters” written to big names. It was inspired by all the “Open Letters to Tiger Woods.” If my fetish gets any more outta control, I’ll probably run into Tiger in rehab! (With every passing minutes, I’m more convinced of my prediction that he’s going to sit out the Masters to pay penance!) So, today Cheap Seats Daily publishes the first installment of the new Open Letter Tracking Service, in which we reveal how many Google hits open letters to random celebrities get. Play this at home!

“Open Letter to…”: (Number of hits)

…Joe Gibbs“: 3,210 hits.

“…Michael Vick“: 17,000

…Terrell Owens“: 20,500

“…Joe Biden”: 121,000

“…President Obama“: 1.5 million

“…Rush Limbaugh“: 281,000”

“…the Jonas Brothers“: 254,000

… Joe Jonas” (my least favorite Jonas Brother): Four hits.

“…Nick Jonas” (everybody’s fave): Eight

“…Jesus“: 8930

I know, Jesus ain’t really a celebrity. Which explains why he’s so far behind the Jonas Brothers in Cheap Seats Daily’s Open Letter Tracking Service. (To Be Continued….)

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Story tips? Wanna Play the Feud? Tube amps for sale? Send to: cheapseats@washingtoncitypaper.com