The Cardinals give a player the number 32 for the first time since Josh Hancock’s death

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Derrick Goold reports that the Cardinals have issued number 32 to a player for the first time since 2007.  The player who has it: catcher Rob Johnson. The last player to wear it: Josh Hancock, who was killed in an auto accident in April of that year.

Hancock, you’ll recall, was intoxicated, texting and driving 68 miles per hour when he smashed his SUV into the back of a parked flatbed tow truck.  The Cardinals had not retired his number or anything, but they hadn’t issued it.  It had been available to other players if they wanted it before Johnson took it, but no one did, making it for something of an awkward memorial.

As Goold notes, though, the Cardinals have so many numbers either retired or currently not in circulation because they may be retired one day, it was inevitable that someone was going to wear 32 again.

Nats players are fed up with their bullpen issues

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Tom Boswell of the Washington Post does frequent Q&As with readers and today he had quite the A to one of their Qs.

The question was about the Nats’ bullpen, which is obviously a glaring weakness on an otherwise excellent team. Following a long answer talking about the approach to bullpen construction, he dropped this:

On Friday, yet ANOTHER National simply walked up to me and said, “When the hell are they going to get this done? What are they waiting for? Waiting is just doing more damage.”

He didn’t even have to say what subject he was talking about or whom “they” were but it’s the bullpen and the Lerners.

A team has a problem when all a reporter has to do is say, “How’s it going?” and an established part of the team blasts the owners for not understanding what’s happening in their own dugout/clubhouse.

The Nats have a bit of a history venting to the Post’s reporters in ways a lot of players don’t vent, but that’s usually when things are going bad overall. These days, things are going pretty good for the Nats, the bum bullpen notwithstanding. I guess one weakness on an otherwise good team is annoying as hell.

But I guess now that they’re getting K-Rod, all of that will end.

The Nats are going to sign Francisco Rodriguez for some reason

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The Nationals bullpen is a tire fire. They’re about to add another tire. Per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Washington is about to sign free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez.

K-Rod was released by the Tigers last week after posting an ERA of 7.82 over 28 appearances this season. He has a 1.658 WHIP, is allowing 11.9 hits per nine innings and is posting his highest walk rate in five years. Also worth noting: the Detroit Friggin’ Tigers decided that he was not good enough to be in their bullpen.

So, yeah, good luck with that Washington.