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Nationals release Hunter Strickland

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On Friday some were speculating that Major League Baseball would institute a transaction freeze as a part of its overall cessation of operations. That has not happened yet, as evidenced by the fact that the Washington Nationals released reliever Hunter Strickland yesterday. That was part of a bunch of moves the team made, mostly involving optioning minor leaguers and stuff.

I mention Strickland, though, because he’s kinda famous and writing a story about a mundane transaction involving a player a lot of people know makes me feel a tad normal for the five minutes it takes to write it. Almost as if baseball and sports and stuff are things that haven’t been thrust into suspended animation in response to an international pandemic.

Anyway, Strickland was a trade-deadline pickup for Washington last season. He appeared in 24 regular-season games but did not appear in the postseason for the World Series champs. He’s most known, of course, for plunking and brawling with ex-Nat Bryce Harper in 2018, back when Strickland played for the Giants. He did some time in Seattle before landing in Washington.

In 281 career games with the Giants, Mariners and Nationals, Strickland is 16-15 with a 3.16 ERA, 229 strikeouts, 87 walks and 21 saves.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

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NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.