The Nationals can’t pay for late Metro service because of … MLB policy?

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We’ve talked before about the Nationals Metro problem. As in, the Metro is really the best way to get to Nats Park but, because it closes at midnight, it often causes fans to choose between staying for the whole game and leaving early to get the train.  And how, because of late starting playoff games, this may become a bigger problem in the future. And how, if the Nats wanted to, they could do what other teams in D.C. do and enter into a contract with WMATA to keep Metro open late on game nights at the team’s expense.

The Nats thus far have refused to do that.  We learn today, however, that the reason for this is not that they don’t want to pay. Rather, because of league policy:

OK, then. Can someone at MLB explain to me what this league policy is, why it was developed and where it has been employed before? Because I’m unaware of any other city where early-closing mass transit is an issue for ballgames. At least a problem large enough to where it has been suggested that teams pay to keep it open before.

But I do love the concern over a “precedent” being set.  What’s the precedent the league is worried about?  A baseball team, for once in its friggin’ life, having to actually pay for a service that directly benefits them and their fans as opposed to having the local government cover it?

If the Tigers are sub-.500 at the end of June it’ll be fire sale time

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Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.

This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.

So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.

The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.