The Strasburg watch

I’m not encumbered with the burden myself, but it must be tough to be a Washington Nationals fan.

The gentleman standing atop this page is former San Diego State hurler Stephen Strasburg, the top pick in the 2009 MLB Draft by the Nationals.

The trouble is that, unless the Nats and super agent Scott Boras reach a deal by Aug. 17, the 100-mile-an-hour tossing pitcher will go back into the draft pool for 2010 and probably pitch in the Independent League until next season.

A quick glance at the standings this morning – and I must like you people because, as a rule, I don’t look at them until Aug. 1 – reveals that the Nationals are 27-66, an epic 27 games behind the Phillies in the National League East.

A side note: If you added the games back for the entire Central division, it only comes to 20.

I know that Boras is demanding a king’s ransom – a major league deal with somewhere north of $10 million in guaranteed money – but with a half-empty, shiny new ballpark and a fanbase that’s running low on patience – the brass in D.C. needs to get this done.

You can’t really go two years in a row without signing your top pick (The Nats took Aaron Crow last year at No. 9, but failed to sign him), can you?

Bite the bullet.

Write the check.

Donovan to Livorno?

Tell me this isn’t happening.

Rumors out of Italy (sounds like a great title for a novella) say that recently promoted Livorno (to the Italian top flight, Serie A) are considering a bid for L.A. Galaxy and U.S. International front man Landon Donovan.

I want him in Europe more than most people, but this deal is a little like spending five years in a bomb shelter eating MREs, then opening the door, walking down the street where you could eat at, say, a Cracker Barrell, Texas Roadhouse or a good Mexican place and deciding instead to eat at Waffle House.

Wait for a better team, dude.

(Please let it be Fulham…)

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