May 26, 2010

Hook, Line, Sinker

What has six thumbs and three tickets to the June 4th game against the Reds? These guys!

I don't blame the Nats. Like Needham says, they bent over backwards not to say anything about when Jeezus will be incarnating in DC. (Contrarywise, seems like they could have said something about when he wouldn't be appearing.) Nor do I particularly blame Zuckerman, Goessling, et al. though this piece is a masterwork of backtracking. Educated guesswork is the lifeblood of journalism, but sometimes you're going to be wrong. In sportswriting this will get you mercilessly mocked on the interweb. In politics it will get you an Op-Ed column at the Washington Post.

One of the criticisms leveled at the Nats for manipulating Stephen Strasburg's service clock was that while they were saving money on his future contracts they were losing revenue in 2010 by not maximizing his major league starts. Clearly Stan Kasten devised a way around that problem. He's managed a near sellout of an otherwise unremarkable Friday night game in early June. Have cake? Check. Eat cake? Check.

Again, I don't blame the Nats. It was in their interest not to quash the June 4th speculation. We ought to understand by now that Stan, Mark and Uncle Teddy consider tickets sold the only appropriate barometer of success. Butts in the seats, or who those butts happen to be rooting for, is a secondary concern. I have no doubt that June 8th, or any other date will sell out just as quickly once Strasburg's promotion is confirmed. Hell, I might very well roll the dice again myself.

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