Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Nationals, Padres To Split Upcoming Three Game Series In Half

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 9) - The last-place Washington Nationals and the equally-as-last-place San Diego Padres have decided to not play their upcoming three-game series in Washington, agreeing instead to award each other 1-1/2 victories in the standings.

"If you can think of one good reason why this series should be played, I'm all ears," said Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden yesterday as he spoke to reporters in the team parking lot, between mouthfuls of a McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese. When that statement was met with silence, Bowden raised his eyebrows and said, "What? Cat got your tongue?"

Sources close to the negotiations said that Nationals and Padres executives held a "two or three minute" conference call Monday and "pretty much decided right away" to take the weekend of September 19-21 off, when the Padres are scheduled to visit the Nationals.

The execs cited several reasons for the cancellations, including "the games don't mean s***"; "who really cares?"; and "we've all got tons to do around the house, with school just starting". Bowden himself, it was reported, expressed a desire to "take in some football" and "not feel guilty about it," as he would if his team was playing that weekend.

Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, when reached in the same parking lot moments after Bowden drove off, seemed willing to go along with the decision.

"I don't know much about it. I hear we're going to be assigned some stats, so I might hit a home run or two while I'm golfing," Zimmerman said with a chuckle, referring to the plan to "play" the three-game set using the electronic video game "MLB 2008" and putting it into "auto mode."

In the standings, each team will receive 1-1/2 victories. That part of the plan needs MLB approval, though.

"We in the MLB offices really couldn't care less if the Nationals and the Padres play," said spokesman Jeff Treadwell. "But the one-and-a-half wins each thing, we have to think about. Won't that look obvious, and kinda stupid?"

The Nationals and Padres each sport 56-88 records and are deeply burrowed in last place in their respective divisions.

As for the fans who hold tickets for the games, Bowden said, "They will be reimbursed for their costs." Sources say the reimbursement will likely come in the form of Nationals souvenirs and coupons to local retail outlets, and that efforts to reach out to those who hold tickets will begin "soon." When asked how many fans will be affected by the cancellations, the source said, "Gosh...hundreds."

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