It’s Military Appreciation Night at Nationals Park

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This is a coincidence — the event was already planned — but the tonight is Military Appreciation Night at Nationals Park.  For the occasion, military personnel, be they active or retired, with a valid military ID can receive up to four free tickets to the game. All you need to do is to go to the First Street will call window.

A couple of hours ago Nats’ reliever Drew Storen tweeted “I expect some epic U-S-A chants tonight at Military Appreciation night at Nats Park.”  There has been increasing buzz all day about how the game may serve as a bit of a defacto bin Laden celebration rally of some sort.

I hope that chanting doesn’t become a thing. It was cool in Philly last night because it was spontaneous and emotional.  But we had so much orchestrated patriotism in the wake of 9/11. In some ways, it caused us to lose the thread of what was really going on and substitute real feeling and reflection for something that seemed rote at best and manipulative at worst.

I hope that doesn’t happen again.

Josh Donaldson is still seeking a long-term deal with the Blue Jays

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If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.

“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.

Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.