THOMAS BOSWELL CHAT
Best Reader Question
Q: In your opinion, did MLB make a mistake by awarding the franchise to the Lerners?
A: Late last year, I was close to saying yes. That's when I wrote my column about canceling my season tickets and [questioning] their "stewardship" of the franchise. Since then, there has been progress -- Teixeira bid, Dunn, Beimel, Zimmerman contract, Willingham/Olsen and going after Strasburg (which they pretty much had to do). If they sign Strasburg, and the correct operating assumption with all drafted players should be that they will, then I think the anti-Lerner voices are going have a harder time making the case.
Orioles Take Hobgood
Under Andy MacPhail, the Orioles have stressed the importance of building pitching depth. Couple this organizational philosophy with the 2009 draft class being considered very pitcher heavy and you can figure out which direction Baltimore would go with its first selection and the entire draft.
Of their 30 picks, the Orioles drafted 17 pitchers, including Matthew Hobgood, whom Baltimore selected with the fifth overall pick. Hobgood is a right-handed power pitcher out of Norco High in California. This week, he was named the Gatorade national baseball player of the year after going 11-1 with a 0.92 ERA.
-- CJ Holley
Best Reader Comment
This would not have happened had the Nats been allowed to negotiate their own regional sports network deal, instead of Angelos strong-arming Selig to give him the Nats' TV rights "in perpetuity."
If the Lerners were allowed to get out of the MASN deal after the 2006 season and entered into an agreement with Comcast SportsNet, the Nats wouldn't be treated so shabbily. That's what happens when the O's owner owns MASN and lords over the Nats' TV rights with no chance for the Lerners to exercise an escape clause -- because there isn't one, thanks to Selig.