The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Ervin Santana does not RespectTheW


As dirtghazi was just getting off the ground this weekend, one down-to-earth reader came to me with an interesting observation that nearly made me soil myself with excitement. Not to muddy the waters, but it would appear that Braves pitcher Ervin Santana had previously attacked the dirt logo of the Nationals, many weeks before Bryce Harper dragged his foot through the Braves logo.

Trust me, I’ve written about things far more ridiculous than this. And so above, please observe the pristine mound that Ervin Santana encountered in the bottom of the first inning on June 22. That is a mound — and a logo — you could put in a museum.

Within a few batters, though, things were unraveling. Art was being sullied. Ws were not being respected. Observe the swipe atop the right-most swoop of that Curly W.

“But anything could have caused that smudge,” you’re thinking. “Perchance ’twas a young chipmunk, scurrying on its way. This, sir, is not proof.” You’re right. It isn’t. BUT THIS IS.

Look, I don’t know what was going on on June 22, but Ervin Santana’s hand was evidently damp. He couldn’t get it right. He wiped it on his pants. He opened and closed his fist. And again and again, cameras showed him ducking out of view while on the back right corner of the mound.

And so, the Curly W faded, no longer beautiful, no longer pristine, eventually no longer even a W, nor curly. This is how you respect logos? I laugh at such respect. It’s a sad laugh.

Look how it changed from the beginning to the end of the bottom of the third.

And likewise for the bottom of the fourth.

And likewise for the bottom of the fifth.

This, friends, was the end result of Santana’s game-long mound desecration. Here is his final pitch, thrown in front of an audience of smeared dirt and broken dreams.

And don’t tell me that happens during every summer afternoon game at Nats Park. Look at the mound in the bottom of the ninth on July 4. Look at that pretty logo. No Cubs player evidently thought to defile it.

So don’t you try to tell me that Bryce Harper’s attack on the Braves ‘A’ was unprovoked. Provocation doesn’t get any dirtier than this.

(Thanks to Reddit, also.)