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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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