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A Fat Pitcher and a Poll

Dan Steinberg is on vacation. Despite his massive photo above, this was not written by him. It was written by Chris Needham of the blog Capitol Punishment, which you must read. Other guest bloggers will check in later today, and all week. Also, tomorrow, Thursday, will be one of the most magical days in D.C. Sports Bog history. If you want to guest blog, try e-mailing here. Anyhow, Capitol Punishment writes below, and please provide extra comments to make him feel at home:

Since this is Washington, the wretched hive of scum and villainy [Steinberg probably won't let me attach jpegs of politicians to those words!], we should do what our elected leaders do and submit to the polls.

(AP Photo)

The good folks at Harris Interactive interviewed 2,400 adults, nearly 900 of whom claim to follow baseball, as to what their favorite team is. No doubt, you can guess that the New York Yankees are at the top, where they'll likely stay for another year or two until Derek Jeter drives the bandwagon into an abutment. The Braves (boooo!) and Red Sox (BOOOOO!) are 2nd and 3rd, and the Cardinals are 4th, which undoubtedly makes MASN broadcaster Bob Carpenter's head swell up with pride.

Here were are, in one of the largest cities in the country, with a brand new team, in beautiful new uniforms, playing in a beautiful new... wait, scratch that. Where're our Nats!? Baltimore's 13th. Lower. Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh!?) is 16th. Lower. Much lower. Go past the Marlins. Past the Padres. Past the God forsaken Devil Rays! When you get to the Royals, slow down. They're there, 29th.

At least we're not last! That's reserved for the Toronto Blue Jays. Never mind the little asterisk which indicates that the survey doesn't take Canadian fans into account. [here's where a rude joke about Canadians would go, probably involving a moose, if this weren't a guest post on a halfway-reputable website.]

I guess the bright side is that there's nowhere to go but up.

A closer look at the numbers details a disturbing trend: 2005: 22; 2006: 24; 2007: 29

If this trend continues, the Nats are going to be relegated to the WNBA [send hate male...err... mail to me] by 2010!

What's the reason for the trend though? My gut instinct says that Washington dislikes Stan Kasten, but that's probably not it.

(AP Photo)

The more I think about it, it's not about hate. It's about love. And if there's one thing Washington loves, it's fat, jolly pitchers. And there were none fatter or jollier than Livan Hernandez. The fat-pitcher-hating team leaders traded him halfway through the '06 season, accounting for some of the dip in popularity. 2007 is the first full Livanless year, and the results speak for themselves. Clearly.

Livan's contract with Arizona runs out at the end of the year, so item #1 on the Nats' offseason agenda (aside from convincing the masses to come watch a losing team in a new park) should be bringing the fat guy back. We miss his casual indifference, the way he lobbed ball after ball in the general vicinity of the strike zone. We miss his catlike reflexes in snaring balls on the mound. And we miss the showers of equipment he'd throw into the stands after getting smacked around by some lowly team.

Kids love Livan. And since the Children are our future, Mr. Kasten owes it to all of DC's children to bring him back home.

By Dan Steinberg  |  July 18, 2007; 8:34 AM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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