Once again, Washington’s Metro will close before a Nationals playoff game ends

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We’ve seen this before: the Washington D.C. Metro system is part of the narrative in the runup to a Washington Nationals playoff game.

The Metro always closes at night — it’s usually midnight if I remember correctly — but now it’s earlier than that due to ongoing renovations to the increasingly antiquated subway system. And, it should be noted, by the transit authority’s (WMATA) refusal to extend service for late Nats games. As a result, the last train out of the Navy Yard Metro station, near Nats Park, will be 11:20 or so. The Dodgers-Nats game tonight will not start until after 8PM so, in all likelihood, the train will shut down before the vast majority of the 41,000 or so baseball fans would prefer to leave for home.

As this story in the Washington Post notes, the Nationals blog TalkNats.com has established the Twitter hashtag, #NatsRide, to help connect Nats fans for carpooling and stuff. Which, in addition to being nice, helps the optics of it all, as Nats fans took a shellacking in the press and on social media in 2014 when there was a mass exodous during Game 2 of the NLDS against the Giants, which went 18 innings.

Hopefully that’s successful. And, even if it’s not, hopefully people will not engage in fan-shaming those who do have to leave early. It’s not their fault that the Nationals built a ballpark that depended greatly on an overtaxed and, in many ways, inadequate transit system. And it’s worth noting that the people who tend to do the most shaming about such things — the press — don’t pay to go to games, get to expense taxi rides and uber rides or, if they park, get free media parking, that they don’t have their kids in tow and that they don’t have to wake up early the next morning to go to work and get those kids off to school.

It’s a tough situation all around. Here’s hoping Nats fans are able to get through it OK.

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster 11-year, $280 million contract, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.