I lived in the D.C. area for three years and one of the things I loved the most about it was Metro. As far as subway systems go it’s clean, easy-to-navigate and altogether swell. The only problem — which was way bigger for me when I was 23 than it would be now — is that it closes at around midnight, so if you’re going to a late show or event, you’re on your own for the ride home.
Most Washington Nationals games end well before midnight, but some don’t. Rain delays. Extended extra-inning affairs. For those sorts of contingencies, the city of Washington pays Metro overtime to run late to accommodate the baseball crowd. But that may not last:
During past seasons, the city covered the costs of bringing in extra trains if there was a long rain delay or an epic 18-inning contest that caused a game to end past Metro’s normal operating hours. But that agreement is unique. All of the other sports teams and concert venues in our area pay Metro for any late-night service. Council Member Tommy Wells says he would like to see the Nationals pick up the tab, which Metro says costs $90,000 per hour.
This service benefits the Nationals first and foremost. Having it there encourages and allows their fans to come to the ballpark in comfort, allows them so buy hot dogs and beer and big foam fingers, knowing that they have a ride home. I can’t see why the Nationals shouldn’t pay for late service like everyone else does.
Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.
Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.
Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.
Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.