The Nationals’ “Take back the Park” thing turns stupid

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Remember how the Nationals launched an initiative to keep Phillies fans from taking over their ballpark during Nats-Phillies series?  How they won’t sell tickets to people not from D.C., Virginia or Maryland?

I think that’s kind of pointless and silly because (a) it’s not like the secondary ticket market doesn’t exist; and (b) money is money and last I checked the Nats weren’t filling their park with locals anyway.  If they want Phillies fans to be drowned out, win ballgames and sell more season tickets. But whatever, it’s their show, and if they want to say no to someone when they go to buy a ticket, it’s their choice.

But it’s another thing altogether, it seems to me, to renege on tickets they already agreed to sell to Philly people before the policy was put in place. And that appears to be what they have done.

Seems that in December a Philly company called Integrated Project Services, Inc. contacted the Nationals for a group outing, put in order and paid a deposit which guaranteed the tickets.  They were supposed to get final confirmation of where their seats were and stuff in January. Then:

It was almost the end of January, and neither Kate or Chuck had heard a thing from the Nationals about their tickets. “we had tried to contact the Nationals because we thought by the end of January we were suppoesd to know,” McCorriston said. “So we called and emailed and called and called and emailed and called, this had been going on for two and a half weeks, and they finally just notified us and said ‘well sorry, we have to take back our park, you know, you can’t have the tickets, there aren’t any tickets left, and we’ll refund your deposit. That was it.”

Just an idiotic business decision to address a problem — too many Phillies fans in the park — that, while slightly embarrassing, is not exactly the sort of thing that a sophisticated business should really care about.  And it’s the sort of thing that could lead to a lawsuit, so that’s great too.

Win some baseball games, Nationals. That’s how you take back your ballpark.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.