I was away for the Padres series, and for that I apologize. It's nothing against the Padres, I swear, but the truth of the matter is that I spent a couple days doing some serious research. You see, I've come across quite a few articles similar to the following, and something just clicked.
A. No. Thompson’s role would be recast. Equal-time rules mean that NBC would have to feature all the Republican candidates if they show Thompson, which wouldn’t be possible. Given the demands of running for president, Thompson wouldn’t be able to continue anyway.
A thornier issue is what would happen to all of the repeat episodes running on various cable networks; TNT, USA and Bravo would be under the same equal-time rules and would have to somehow excise his appearances on those episodes.
It strikes me we've seen a lot of "Speigner's early struggles doom the Nats" recently. If Levale's 9.10 ERA doesn't get to you, then his .355 opponents' batting average will. And those 63 baserunners in 28.2 innings pitched? Sort of sobering, man.
Maybe I'm unduly overcome by a pessimist's streak, but I'm thinking it might be time to get Speigner off the active roster for a little while. But you can't just disappear him, so to speak. If Bodes tries to sneak him down to the minors, the Twins can have him back for half of Speigner's $50,000 draft price. Maybe the Twins bite or maybe they don't, but as "convenient" as an injury may be, it doesn't appear that will happen any time soon either. So we're at loggerheads.
Unless . . .
What say you, Candidate Speigner?
Oh, come on and hear me out. Think this one through: If Levale forms a presidential campaign committee, then he gets the Fancy Fred treatment, right? Even if equal-time rules don't apply explicitly to cable channels -- and this Post article states they don't -- wouldn't it be in MASN's best interests to play it safe? And insofar as the Nats own a stake in MASN, albeit it a very little stake, it appears the practical choice is to take a chance with Speigner or field a team entirely composed of presidential candidates. (And just when the Nats were playing better!)
Run, Levale, run. It's so easy to do -- these morons have already figured it out -- and it's a mutually beneficial arrangement for Speigner and his employer. For Levale, he gets to say he ran for President of the United States, and I mean being a real candidate; this won't be like that silly town in Kansas whose residents all voted for Howard the Duck or anything. For the Nats, they get to put Speigner on the restricted list and fill his spot for the time being with a replacement who can get hitters out. And the commitment is pretty minimal if you think about it. This doesn't even need to be a long-term arrangement; the season ends on September 30, so it's not like Levale would even have to campaign through primary season if the grind becomes unsatisfying. Heck, by next spring, he can be back down in Columbus free-and-clear, with no need to manipulate our nation's political process.
I have a feeling that if Levale goes for the plan he'll want to do it right, though. I've taken the liberty of drawing up a platform of sorts for him. It's a rough draft, so please be kind. Here are some highlights:
- Support for Necessary Government Programs: I'm not going to label Levale a Democrat or Republican, but let's be honest -- everyone in Washington loves me some money to spend. And Levale gives every indication of a willingness to indulge in some pork. Take the first inning of Saturday's game, please. Six runs, six hits, one walk. Plenty of spending, so to speak. No one went hungry in the San Diego dugout, I assure you.
- Nevertheless, a Sense of Fiscal Restraint: Okay, so Speigner got some spending out of the way in the first inning, but in his final three, Speigner demonstrated he knows how to reign it in. He allowed no runs on one hit after the first inning. This is a man who knows how to hold the line. He'll balance your budget, America.
- An Appreciation for a Strong Defense: We live in a world that has walls, and who's going to guard them? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? Nook Logan? Cristian Guzman? Ryan Church? I don't know what Kevin Pollak's doing, but I do know the last three guys mucked up Levale's first inning to a certain degree. This isn't to say Speigner's been any great shakes out there (hardly), but you would think the man appreciates the value of solid defensive play behind him.
For now, though, run Levale run!