Beat writers would rather move to another continent than cover the Nationals

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Anyone who has a strong enough constitution to be able to follow the Washington Nationals on a day-in-day-out basis knows that the only nice thing about it is getting to read Chico Harlan, who covers them for the Washington Post. He writes one of your better big-paper-affiliated baseball blogs, and always seems to have his team notes up before guys at other papers do.  He’s a good writer who makes reading up on the Nats tolerable, which is no average feat.

Apparently Chico can’t bear to watch the Nats any longer, however, as he has accepted an assignment that will take him as physically far from Nationals baseball as one can get without actually leaving the planet: Asia correspondent.

Rest easy now, Chico. The Nationals will be fast asleep for most of the time you’re awake. They can’t hurt you anymore.

Report: Mets ownership backs Terry Collins

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The Mets entered Sunday night’s game against the Pirates with a disappointing 20-27 record. While the club has dealt with a litany of injuries, manager Terry Collins has also drawn criticism for in-game decision-making, particularly regarding his decision-making.

Owner Fred Wilpon is still Collins’ strongest supporter, however, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports. As a result, the team is unlikely to make a managerial change anytime soon. If the Mets continue to struggle, though, ownership may feel pressured to make a change.

Collins became the longest-tenured manager in Mets history last week. Collins managed the Mets to a 77-85 record in 2011 and has overall helped the club go 501-518, winning the NL Pennant in 2015. He is not signed to a contract beyond this season.

Joe Mauer becomes first Twin to reach base seven times in a game since Rod Carew

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Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had a game for the record books on Sunday against the Rays. He finished 4-for-5 with an RBI double, a solo home run, two singles, and three walks in eight plate appearances. Unfortunately for him, the Twins still lost 8-6 in 15 innings.

ESPN’s Stats & Info notes that Mauer is the first Twin to reach base seven times in one game since Rod Carew in 1972 against the Brewers. The last player to reach base seven times in one game (without the aid of an error) was Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford on August 8 last season against the Marlins. The feat has only been accomplished seven times this decade, so about once a year.

After Sunday’s game, Mauer is batting .283/.363/.408 with three home runs, 18 RBI, and 23 runs scored in 171 plate appearances. Not too shabby.