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As the world turns

Make what you want of the Nationals' ability to frustrate, but they sure make up for it with the ability to fascinate. The Nats don't need a pennant race for theatrics. Yesterday, in a span of about seven hours, the following things happened:

* The team's general manager was linked to a federal investigation that promises felony charges for anybody implicated.

* The team sent its starting center fielder to the minors.

* The team revealed that its latest starting left fielder has a shoulder injury.

* The team lost its starting first baseman, Dmitri Young, mid-at bat due to a reaggravated back injury.

* Oh, and the team went out and walloped the Astros, 10-0, for its finest win of the season.

Am I forgetting anything? Add all this to a month already loaded with trade rumors, umpire-aimed vitriol, ejections, ill-fated double-comebacks and critical injuries and you've got just another soap operatic chapter of Washington Nationals baseball.

Certainly the most critical issue involves Bowden's role (or lack thereof) in the FBI investigation. The story needs a little more context and reporting before its severity can be accurately measured, but for now, right or wrong, Bowden has been singled out as the top-ranking front office executive -- from any team -- involved with the investigation. Numerous sources and information from other news outlets indicate that this will change, that the investigation is so wide-ranging that it will involve every team in baseball. Because this is a news story that I will have to continue to follow, I hesitate to add too much opinion here. For the time being, I am best keeping my statements vanilla. I guess I'll leave the drama-creating to the team I cover.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 12, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
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