Fab story in this very space yesterday from Jason Cherkis on the DC fire chief pulling rank at Nationals Park and getting the regular game-day pyrotechnics stopped. Thankfully, after the pregame blasts that caused the, um, sparks to fly between the chief and stadium personnel, the Nats came through with a shutout loss, meaning there wouldn’t have been any use for play-by-play man Charlie Slowe’s trademark call for home runs and last outs of wins: “Bang Zoom Go the Fireworks!”

***

The Nats are hyping Tuesday’s baseball draft, a la Dan Snyder. The organization is having a Draft Day Party at Nationals Park before Tuesday night’s game. The Nats will make the first overall pick, earned by being the worst team in baseball last season, around 6 p.m. The team has no choice but to use it on college pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Assuming the Nats continue to be the worst team in baseball this season, there will be oodles of pressure on management to fast-track Strasburg to the bigs so the fans will have something to pay attention to as the schedule winds down. In a marvelous piece of sideline journalism, during Sunday’s Nats/Mets telecast, MASN’s Debbi Taylor pressured acting GM Mike Rizzo about the schedule for bringing Strasburg along: “Is there a chance that he could get a cup of coffee in September?” Taylor asked.

There wasn’t a single word in Taylor’s question to let anybody not obsessed with obscure baseball cliches know what the hell she was talking about. Talk about inside baseball!

Rizzo hemmed and hawed and didn’t answer the question. I say there’s a fine chance Strasburg will have a cup of coffee in September.

***

Everybody is saying Strasburg is this year’s Ben McDonald. McDonald was the top overall pick in the 1989 draft, going to the Orioles. McDonald, who was hyped much like Strasburg is, though without the internet, indeed had a cup of coffee that September. I was at Memorial Stadium for McDonald’s first appearance in the big leagues. He was brought in as a reliever, and, if memory serves, got his first batter to ground into an inning-ending double play. For all the hype, his career probably peaked that night.

***

A caller to the Nats postgame radio show after Friday’s loss to the Mets imparted this about tragic closer Joel Hanrahan, who had just blown another game: “I was at the game, and the fans just groaned when he went out there.” Let’s see now: Rizzo and the Lerners fired the pitching coach last week. Who’s next: Manny Acta or Hanrahan?

***

The Washington Post sports page yesterday featured a piece on high school tennis from a stringer named Bucky Dent. I’d love to see that byline in a Boston paper.

***

Proof that the Washington Post does not let sponsorship considerations affects its news judgment: The paper sponsors the DC Armor games. A large advertising banner for the Post promising “Complete Sports Coverage” hangs on the sidelines at DC Armory during the expansion indoor football franchise’s contests. The Armor lost 57-28 on Saturday at home to the Baltimore Mariners. I can’t find a single mention of the game in the Washington Post, print or online.

It’s debatable, however, whether the paper’s policy of Completely Not Covering the Armor makes its claim of “Complete Sports Coverage” false advertising.

***

Speaking of undercovered football squads: The undefeated and untied DC Divas, the top ranked female gridiron gang in the land, beat the sixth-ranked NY Sharks 34-18 on Saturday at the PG Sports and Learning Complex. The win puts them at 7-0, having outscored the opposition 262-46. There’s one game remaining on the regular season schedule, a home tilt with Philadelphia. The Divas whupped Philly 42-0 on the road earlier in the season.

***

Not all pro wrestlers die real young: John Tolos, who in the late 1950s headlined several rasslin’ cards promoted in DC by the first Vince McMahon, died last week in Los Angeles. He was 78. Kidney failure was the final finishing move used on Tolos. An August 25, 1959 clip in the Washington Post says Tolos, who went by The Golden Greek in the ring, was in a feature match before “the largest wrestling crowd in Washington history” at Griffith Stadium. The assembled 11,200, according to the Post scribe, had paid “nearly $25,000 — a record grunt-and-groan gate here” to get into the matches.

***

You know how you can tell John Scheinman’s a real racing guy? Because his Belmont Stakes picks didn’t come in. Scheinman gave us Chocolate Candy, Charitable Man, and Mine That Bird free of charge. And advised us to: “Box ’em and cash!” Write it off, people. That’s racing!

***

Update on the federal government’s War on Pickup Soccer: The National Park Service has at last taken down the temporary fences in Rock Creek Park that were mucking up a popular makeshift soccer field on Piney Branch Parkway beneath 16th Street NW. NPS officials said the fences were necessary to keep the lawns there healthy, but that explanation stopped making sense months ago, when there were no dirt spots visible and there was so much grass that it threatened to grow over the “turf repair” signs the feds had hung on the site.

But, on the plus side: At least NPS didn’t leave the fences up for three years, as happened with Meridian Hill Park.

***

Upshur Update: I went back over the weekend to Upshur Pool, and for the first time ever found the locker rooms, which over the Memorial Day holiday were gross, like Preakness infield gross, to be clean. Like, suburbs clean. The baby pool, closed at the beginning of the season was not only open, but an uncovered drain hole that had been a lawsuit waiting to happen for the past two years was fixed and safe. The big pool, as always, was glorious.

Bottom line: Nicely done, DC Department of Parks and Rec and Upshur Pool management!

***

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