Friday, April 08, 2005

First in War, First in Peace...

In the days of the Washington Senators, the old joke used to be that Washington was first in war, first in peace, and last in the American League. Well, for at least a few more hours, we can say that Washington is first in war, first in peace, and first in the National League East. After winning two of their first three games in Philadelphia this week, the Nationals are 2-1 and tied for first place with the Atlanta Braves. Although they are off to a good start, we need to be realistic. They beat the Phillies, who they will most likely be competing with to stay out of last place as the season goes on. But there are some things to be optimistic about. Brad Wilkerson had another huge game offensively yesterday, going 4-5 with one run scored and 1 RBI, helping the Nationals to a 5-4 victory. This comes the day after he hit for the cycle for the second time in his career. Also, Jose Vidro, who scored the winning run in the 10th inning with a solo home run, went 2-4 with one run scored and 3 RBI. And Esteban Loaiza pitched well going 6 2/3 innings giving up four earned runs, five hits and striking out four.

In other Washington news, they are working on a deal to get the Nationals games televised. The season opener was on TV, but their two wins were not. Apparently, and this shocked me when I heard this, a regional sports network created by Major League Baseball and the Baltimore Orioles will own the rights to the Nationals games and broadcast approximately 150 of their 164 games. What is shocking is that Orioles owner Peter Angelos owns 90% of this regional sports network (and after 20 years will still own 66%). This means that he will receive most of the television revenue that both the Orioles and Nationals generate. If this is in fact the case, I don’t know how Major League Baseball can sell the Nationals to a new owner if that group will not be able to own the TV rights. Stay tuned.