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If it were like six years ago, I might be inclined to note that this (13 losses in 16 games) is sort of where, in a Behind the Music episode, the band hits the inevitable rock bottom because of substance abuse or the drummer loses his arm due to a car accident or hyper-ravenous rodents or something.

But it's not six years ago, so I'll note that it can only get better---and it will get better. But it didn't get better last night. Let's see:

  • John Patterson? "Dead arm."
  • Brian Schneider? Trying not to drive himself crazy.
  • Shawn Hill, Livan Hernandez? Elbow, tweaked knee.
  • Stan Kasten? Still not officially in charge.
  • Congress? Ineffectually interceding into the MASN/Comcast thingy:
    The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday approved a measure urging the Federal Communications Commission to act upon a year-old request by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network that could force the Comcast cable company to end its refusal to carry most Nationals games to millions of fans.

    The House Appropriations Committee said in a report that it "strongly urges the FCC to act expeditiously upon the complaint . . . regarding Washington Nationals baseball."

    "I brought it up at the hearing, and we came to the conclusion that inserting this language would be good to let the FCC know that on behalf of the folks who live in this area, these games should be on TV," said Rep. Jose E. Serrano (D-N.Y.), who said he asked the language be inserted because he wants to watch Nationals games on television.

On the bright side, Marlon Anderson sure must've received some PEDicure yesterday. Two homers and an RBI double?! What got into him?!

Just kidding---Marlon's all man, baby.

* * * *

So I received this book in my figurative Christmas stocking a few months back, and I figure this is a good time to break it out---not much to talk about with the Nats at current. The book? Baseball Bafflers: The Grand Slam. Hey, cool. Must be better than the Catcher's Indifference edition.

Anyway, keeping in mind I hardly ever follow through on running features, I thought I'd try on a "baffler" for the people of the square table here:


Oakland's center fielder is on second base ready to steal third. He gets a good jump on the Yankee pitcher as the batter flies out to the outfield. Running with his head down [ed: because he's a member of the "Moneyball" A's, of course---Derek Jeter would never do something so fundamentally unsound], the A's player doesn't see the fly being caught, and is decoyed into sliding by the Yanks' third baseman [ed: obviously not ARod].

In doing so, he overslides third. The third-base coach, seeing what had happened, helps the runner to this feet; since the fly was caught, and the A's outfielder has to return to second, he does directly back.

What two things are wrong with this play?

Later on, I'll post the answer in "Read More."

As correctly noted:

1. third-base coach cannot physically aid the runner;

2. runner must re-touch the base he overslid before returning to second.