Item! The Nationals signed the McGeary kid, who will now become a professional baseball player in the Nationals organization instead of going to college. Yay victory of sports over education! All of a sudden, the amount of probable quality pitching in the Nationals system is starting to look a little scary. There are now enough plausible two- or three-spot lefty starters in the system that we could be trading arms for bats in the next couple of years. And just like that, BallWonk’s faith in The Plan is a lot stronger.
In other news, the Army Corps of Engineers announced late last night that it has scrapped its plans for rebuilding the flood defenses around New Orleans. Rather than relying on mechanical gates and pumping stations, the Corps now proposes to install Ray King and Luis Ayala as floodwalls.
Said Corps spokesman Lt. Col. Albert Drowner, "If King and Ayala could get out of a no-outs, bases-loaded situation with Branyan, Rollins, and Iguchi due up without giving up a run, they may be the most effective disaster stoppers known to human science." Accordingly, the new Corps plans for New Orleans call for King and Ayala to be placed at either end of the city’s vulnerable canal system to hold back future storm surges.
Because Ayala not only got the last out of the catastrophe-averting seventh, but also faced Burrell, Howard, Rowand, and Helms in the eighth and notched two strikeouts looking and no runs given up, the Corps expects to place him on the Lake Pontchartrain openings of the canals, which is expected to face greater sustained stress in any future flooding event. King will be deployed along the eastern edge of New Orleans, where the levee system faces shorter, more intense strain in some circumstances.
Nationals general manager Trader Jim Bowden is said to be in discussions with the Army Corps of Engineers about a trade for the two relievers. Sources close to the negotiations say Bowden is demanding either Alex Rodriguez or Adam Dunn in compensation. Senior Corps officials who asked not to be named said they were growing frustrated with Bowden’s outlandish demands, and are considering seeking authority from Congress to draft King and Ayala into the armed forces.
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