Who knew that the toughest beat in DC wasn't the White House or the Pentagon, but Nationals Park? Just two years after Barry Svrluga (of sainted memory) left for the apparently more relaxing Redskins beat, WaPo Nats beat writer Aaron "Chico" Harlan is abandoning ship. Per the Post's memo obtained by FishbowlDC:
After two very long seasons doing an outstanding job covering the Washington Nationals, Chico Harlan is eager for a new challenge at the Post, and a well-deserved one. We do not fault Chico for having failed to bring winning baseball to the District. In fact, he now joins a long list of baseball writers who have come up short in that regard. What this means is that we are looking for a new reporter to cover the Nats.Now, some would argue that the Post has been, or should have been, looking for a new reporter to cover the Nats from the day Harlan started. He certainly didn't do himself any favors with his revelation to the Washingtonian that he doesn't particularly care for sports and would rather be a food writer, but he gets a pass from me.
As bloggers we've struggled (and failed) to find something interesting and relevant to say about the Washington Nationals that wasn't just long strings of profanity off and on for five years now. We've done it without deadlines, endless travel and dealing with reluctant players, coaches and executives, all while under pressure to break "news". As much as I love watching and writing about Nats baseball, I can't imagine doing Chico Harlan's job half as well as he did.
Bon appetit Chico. Nationals Journal's loss is the Food section's gain.