Archive for the ‘Washington Nationals’ Category

Ramos Rescued

November 12, 2011

Ramos Rescued

Kidnapped Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has been rescued from his abductors in Venezuela. There is no truth to the rumor that he was traded for two players to be named later.

Mr. Ramos was staying with his family in Valencia, the third largest city in Venezuela, capital of Carabobo state, and his hometown. He has been spending the Major League Baseball off-season playing for the Aragua Tigers in the Venezuelan Baseball League. Ethnocentric Norteamericanos insist on calling  this “winter baseball” even though it will soon be summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

More:

“Wilson Ramos rescatado con un final feliz (Wilson Ramos rescued with a happy ending),” Prensa Tigres de Aragua

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-bxJ

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Lefty Opens Baseball Season

April 5, 2010

Lefty Opens Baseball Season

President Barack Obama threw out the first pitch of the season at Nationals Park on Monday. High and outside.

Phillies 11, Nats 1.

 

 

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Wrong End of the Telescope

April 14, 2009

Wrong End of the Telescope

Everyone loves to root for the home team, but while the sentiment is charming, it also makes bookies rich. Why should government make the same kind of dumb bet, but at higher stakes? That’s exactly what happens when the dynamics of real estate speculation are magnified by taxpayer-funded sports stadium projects.

Objective assessment of athletes is difficult; inflating the merits of a sports team with hometown loyalty and wishful thinking is a sucker’s game. Likewise, a publicly-funded sports facility is a sucker bet for citizens and a speculator’s dream.

Yesterday’s local news featured pathetic interviews with DC baseball fans. Folks in Nationals ballcaps, standing near lots laid waste by stadium-fueled development delusions, said it had taken a decade for the downtown arena neighborhood to develop, so they were willing to endure ten years of unproductive desolation caused by Nats Park construction. With all this “Wait Until Next Decade” talk it was hard to remember that Monday was Opening Day, not the end of a losing season. 

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Nationals Owner Hits Grand Slam

April 7, 2009

Nationals Owner Hits Grand Slam

Last season, Forbes magazine listed Washington Nationals owner Theodore Lerner at number 462 on their annual Billionaires’ List, with a personal wealth of $2.5 billion. The 2009 Forbes list is shorter, of course; we’re in a worldwide financial meltdown and the number of billionaires is a mere 793, down from last year’s 1,125.

Mr. Lerner, though, has bucked the trend: this year he’s #191, with assets of  $3.2 billion. In 2007 Ted Lerner was in true Nationals form, at the bottom of the Bigs (#664, $1.5 billion). Let’s hear it for the home team!

Tomorrow, to celebrate Mr. Lerner’s coup, the cash-strapped DC Government will present him with $700,000-worth of sculpture it bought for him, decorations for the $611 million stadium taxpayers built for the Lerner family last year. We have not learned if the Lerners are actually paying the stadium rent this year.

 

Admire the sculptures your tax dollars bought for the Lerners 11:00 AM on Wednesday, April 8th, when the artwork will be dedicated at Nationals Park.  RSVP to Deirdre Ehlen at the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) by email or phone (202-724-5613). The event is free. See the art you paid for before you have to buy Nationals tickets to do it.

 Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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DC Buys Bronze Bobbleheads for Billionaires

March 26, 2009

DC Buys Bronze Bobbleheads for Billionaires

As part of its economic recovery effort, the DC Government commissioned $700,000 worth of sculpture for billionaire Theodore Lerner and his family. DC already built $611 million Nationals Park for the Lerners, who own the local Major League Baseball franchise, and the government wants to decorate it to suit the wealthy tenants. Who knows, this might even encourage the Lerners to actually pay rent on the stadium.

You can admire the artistic gifts your tax dollars bought for the Lerners at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, April 8th, when the sculptures will be dedicated. RSVP to Deirdre Ehlen at the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) by email or phone (202-724-5613). The event is free, so go see the art you paid for before you have to buy Nationals tickets to do it.

Forbes estimates the personal wealth of Theodore  N. Lerner at $2.5 billion, but why spend your own money on art when the taxpayers will commission it for you?  The DC Government dead- panned that the baseball art belongs to DC and is only on loan to the Lerners, an assertion worthy of a Larry Neal Award for fiction.  The sculpture  is site-specific, so saying the art is on loan is like saying you don’t own the fillings in your teeth, you only rent them.

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MLB + FBI = DC ‘Civic Pride?’

March 2, 2009

MLB + FBI = DC Civic Pride

Jim Bowden has resigned as General Manager of the Washington Nationals, but not over the dismal record of the  purportedly professional team he allegedly managed for four years. The FBI suspects Bowden and  José Rijo, his Special Assistant, of skimming  bonus money from Latino rookies, according to league sources quoted by ESPN and AP. The financial irregularities may have started fourteen years ago, when Bowden and Rijo recruited highly-paid young Dominican players for the Cincinnati Reds.

The media first became aware of  the FBI investigation back in July, while the Nationals were struggling to maintain their historic four-year record as the absolutely worst team in Major League Baseball. Public interest in the corruption investigation revived recently when swindlers cheated the alleged crooks by switching an unknown for a celebrated  young  player in a multi-million-dollar contract deal.

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Nader 1, Post 0

October 1, 2008

Nader 1, Post 0

In case you missed it, here’s a season highlight from Politico‘s Alexander Burns:

[Ralph] Nader recounted a recent meeting with editors at The Washington Post, who he said told him the paper wasn’t covering his campaign because he had no chance of winning. According to Nader, he replied: “Then why are you covering the Nationals?” a reference to Washington’s long-suffering baseball team.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
Thanks to XMsportsradio

Ballpark Balloon Payment

April 2, 2008

Ballpark Balloon Payment

Who would borrow money to buy a house when the rate could skyrocket from 4.75% to 14%? The Government of the District of Columbia. Who would borrow money to build a new house for sports millionaires when the interest rate could skyrocket from 4.75% to 14%? The Government of the District of Columbia.

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Opening Day

March 30, 2008

Opening Day

The Washington Nationals play their home opener in newly-erected Viagra Park – just follow the traffic jam; you can’t miss it.

Actually, the team — or the city, or MLB, or WTF knows – gets to decide on the “naming rights,” which morally-bankrupt corporation will pay millions to be linked forever to the municipally-financed ballpark. Rumor says Bear-Stearns has the inside track, with Preparation-H and HeadOn tied for second.

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Washington Nationals: Fare Catch

February 25, 2008

Washington Nationals -- Fare Catch

Today in Sports, the big story is Eats. The Washington Nationals have sent their old food service to the showers and filled the dining dugout with a mix of seasoned pros and promising rookies, all hometown favorites. Good play, guys.

 The complete roster is at Dan Steinberg’s D.C. Sports Bog, with further commentary on the gustatory line-up (with hyperlinks for the hungry)  by Marc Fisher.

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