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Nats: Helicopter Hunting and Bowden Bloviating

If it's a day whose name ends in "day," there will have been at least a couple bizarre Washington Nationals stories I forgot to mention. This week, I've missed at least three.

* Newly acquired reliever Logan Kensing previously earned headlines in Florida after talking to the Palm Beach Post about how he goes up in a helicopter to hunt wild hogs, coyotes and deer, but especially about how he kills pigs from the sky. "I know that I'm gonna have to pitch as good as I can so I can make enough money to buy a helicopter one day," he said in a still-viewable action-heavy video clip. He later told ESPN Outdoors that shooting hogs from the air was "bad-ass" and "one of the best things I've ever got to do."

Of course, this led to a protest from the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition, saying he was promoting indiscriminate killing. Barry Silver, the co-chair, sent a letter to the Marlins demanding they reprimand him for the violence:

Whether they want to be or not, professional athletes are role models, especially for our children, and the last thing our youth needs in this violence-prone era is a Marlins pitcher who tells our youth unabashedly that killing is thrilling, and that a gun is fun. Our coalition joins other sensitive people in our strong condemnation of Mr. Kensing's "Vick"timization of wild pigs and other wild animals.

Oh, and ESPN Outdoors wisely headlined its story "Pork Chopper." Hey, I said this was bizarre.

* Thom Loverro deserves several prizes for uncovering Jim Bowden's new radio career. There were plenty of highlights, led by Bowden making Deion cry, and also Bowden becoming a jury foreman and boasting to the judge that his team would probably win the same number of games as the Washington Generals. Can you imagine Ernie Grunfeld or George McPhee doing something like that? No and no. Heck, even Vinny Cerrato would never make that joke, since he likely doesn't know who the Washington Generals are.

But the part I wanted to highlight was this: "In fact, I never even went to the Dominican Republic, don't even have a passport."

So the GM of a team that was bragging about its Dominican operations had never even been to the Dominican? And doesn't own a passport? Who doesn't own a passport? And you wonder why Japanese imports haven't streamed into D.C.

* The Washington Times definitely deserves to pass The Post as the prime target of fan ire. They're just piling on at this point. Did you read this week's ticket story?

Paid attendance at Washington Nationals home games has dropped by 30 percent this season, leaving the team to play before some of the most sparse crowds in major league baseball....Only the Detroit Tigers, whose fans have been ravaged by the troubles in the auto industry, and the New York Mets, who moved into a smaller ballpark, have suffered a bigger drop in attendance. Only the small-market Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates have drawn fewer fans a game.

Something else for Pittsburgh and D.C. fans to fight about.

* Also forgot to mention this: When the Nats were 1-10 and on pace for a 15-win season, Rob Dibble came out and said they were better than their record showed.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 30, 2009; 10:31 AM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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Fact- V. Cerrato was once Assistant GM of the Washington Generals....

As a voice actor on a "Scooby Doo" episode featuring the Harlem Globetrotters.

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | April 30, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I hope Logan Kensing gets a line drive to the face.

Posted by: Lunger | April 30, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

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