Ryan Zimmerman, the mandatory all-star, threw a ball into the stands for no apparent reason. Sean Burnett played hot potato with the ball on a come-backer. Nyjer Morgan got picked off first. The Nats lost.

Bottom line: The squad came out of the All-Star break in midseason form.

***

Local newspapering doesn’t get any better than when KidsPost gets all sportsy and righteousy. So it was yesterday as Fred Bowen used the firing of Manny Acta as a teachable moment:

“It’s always a shame when someone gets blamed for something that’s not his fault,” counsels KidsPost.

But after giving that sage advice to all the little boys and girls, Bowen turns into Krusty the Klown and just plain rails about the Nats as if the team owes him money:

(AFTER THE JUMP: Bowen blames Bowden? More more more on Jim Riggleman’s Thunderation cheer? We now know where Marvcus Patton is, but what about the other guy? McEnroe being McEnroe?)

If you don’t believe [it’s not Acta’s fault that the Nats blow], ask yourself this simple question: What Nationals player has proven himself to be better than the average major league starter at his position?

I’d say Ryan Zimmerman, the Nationals’ only all-star, is better than the average starter at third base. But who is there after that? Cristian Guzmán at shortstop or Adam Dunn in left field or Nick Johnson at first base?

Well, Guzmán almost never gets a walk (only seven bases on balls in 72 games), Dunn can’t field and Johnson gets hurt nearly every season. In addition, the Nats’ pitching is awful.”

Got that, kids? Blame Jim Bowden!

***

Cheap Seats Daily chooses to scape another goat for the Nats’ woes: The lack of a good cheer! And so we will continue making noise about adopting Jim Riggleman‘s old Richard Montgomery High School fight song.

For those not among the tens of people who’ve read CSD this week — and we know you’re out there! — here’s how the song went during Riggleman’s (Class of ’70) day:

Thunder, Thunder, Thunderation We’re the Rockets Delegation When we fight with determination We create a soul sensation!

And there’s really only one reason we harp: The fight song works!

Take this from the baseball team’s section of an RMHS’s yearbook during Riggleman’s stay at the Rockville school:

In the 21 years that Coach Henry Miles has been directing the baseball team at Richard Montgomery, he has never had a losing season and the 1969 season was no exception. The team finished in second place with a fine 9-5 record in league play and 9-6 overall. The leading batter, with an average of .318, was Gary Paquet, who also showed a fine glove at shortstop. Other batters who showed a fine bat at the plate were: Jimmy Riggleman at .297, Kenny Bell at .268 and Dan Groves at .256. R.M.’s pitching staff was the “meat and potatoes” of the team, led by Pat Pontius, who was the best pitcher in the county with an earned run average of 0.75 and a 6-1 pitching record. The other pitchers were: Bill Harrison (1-3); Tim Zetts (2-1); and Lee Branthover (0-1).

NOT ONE LOSING SEASON in 21 years of “Thunderation!” Heck, along with bringing back the Rockets fight song, why not bring back Coach Henry Miles? And Pat Pontius! He was the best pitcher in the county! With an earned run average of 0.75 and a 6-1 pitching record!

Get the band back together, Jimmy Riggleman!

(But, um, don’t tell Bill Harrison (1-3) or Lee Branthover (0-1), please.)

And furthermore…the same Thunderation cheer, stolen as it was (FROM THE GIRL SCOUTS!), was used by the Richard Montgomery football team at the time. And how’d the gridiron squad do with it? SIX undefeated seasons from 1959 to 1969!

Six!

The cheer-less Nats rarely enjoy an undefeated evening!

Bring back “Thunderation,” Jimmy Riggleman!

***

A bizarre where-are-they-now? situation that should interest Redskins fans is taking place in Northern Virginia. The story surrounds the disappearance of a Osama El-Atari. El-Atari was known around Ashburn as the young guy with tons of money who drove between all the restaurants he owned in a Lamborghini or a Hummer. Well, El-Atari and his vehicles disappeared lately, and it looks like all the gains were ill-gotten, with bogus insurance claims being among his alleged scams. When he disappeared, El-Atari owed millions to creditors. And when Fox-5 reporter and basketball stud Wisdom Martin went looking for him at an Original Steakhouse thought to be owned by El-Atari, folks there told him he was in the wrong place.

“Our owner is Marvcus Patton,” restaurant employees told Martin.

I don’t give a rip where El-Atari is. But it’s good to see Marvcus, a former Skins linebacker, has ended up doing OK for himself. Despite having to grow up with one of the worst first names of all time and playing here during the woebegone Norv Turner Era, Marvcus always seemed like a great guy.

But seriously: Marvcus? What were his parents thinking?

***

John McEnroe came, saw and conquered the Washington Kastles last night, 20-19, in a match decided by something called a Supertiebreaker. Geez. I’m going to withhold interest until World Team Tennis schedules doubleheaders with roller derby.

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