Nationals ink former Braves lefty James

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FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Nationals have signed former Braves left-hander Chuck James to a minor league deal.
James, 28, will be attempted a comeback after undergoing shuolder and rotator cuff surgery in Sept. 2008 and missing all of last season. He was last seen going 2-5 with a 9.10 ERA in seven starts before getting hurt in 2008, but he went 22-14 with a 4.00 ERA in 286 innings as a major leaguer from 2005-07.
Given that he hasn’t pitched in a game in a year and a half, James almost certainly will need some minor league time at the beginning of 2010. Still, he could turn into a candidate for Washington’s rotation come May or June.

Phillies fan injured after being shot by the Phillie Phanatic’s hot dog cannon

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In between one inning during every home game at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillie Phanatic will drive around the edge of the playing field shooting hot dogs into the stands from a pneumatic gun — a hot dog cannon, if you will — mounted on an ATV. Until Monday night, a fan had never been injured during this event.

Sarah Bloomquist of 6 ABC reports that, unfortunately, a Phillies fan was injured on Monday night when the Phillies opened a three-game home series with the Cardinals. Kathy McVay of Plymouth Meeting, PA was hit in the face. McVay said, “I have a small hematoma in my eye. And mostly, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. It’s going to go down the side of my face.” She also suffered cuts and bruises and had to be taken to the hospital to be tested for a concussion.

McVay doesn’t plan to take legal action against the Phillies and seems to be taking the injury with a good sense of humor. She said, “It gives people a good laugh, and if that makes somebody chuckle, then that’s fine.” McVay also advised fellow fans, “Just to be aware, because you never know. I understand a baseball, but not a hot dog.”

The Phillies reached out to apologize to McVay on Tuesday and offered her tickets to another game once she heals, assuming she would like to return to Citizens Bank Park.

One wonders if Monday’s incident might motivate the Phillies to do away with the hot dog cannon stunt. There’s really nothing gained by doing it, and there are plenty of other ways for the Phanatic to have fun with the fans around the ballpark.