City Desk

Cheap Seats Daily: Another Bad Day for Nats, Another ‘Great Day’ for Skins

Sounds like Rob Dibble has already seen enough.

Dibble, the Nationals color commentator, spoke for every fan yesterday. He went off when second baseman Anderson Hernandez jumped out of the way of a fine throw from pitcher Jesus Colome on a routine sacrifice attempt in the eighth inning and the Nats up a run over Philly.

Hernandez's merkel let the Nats blow yet another lead to give the Phillies a sweep of the four-game series.

"[Toronto pitcher] Roy Halladay may pass us for wins by the All Star break," Dibble huffed. "Have you ever seen a play like THAT?"

In an age when team owners have a lot of control over who announces their games, that's about as off the reservation as a commentator's going to get.

Looks like fans have seen enough, too: Hell if Nationals Stadium didn't look empty during the game telecast.

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"It's a great day for the Redskins," an attorney for the team, Bob Raskopf, said on Friday.

Not a great day for redskins, however: A federal court ruled in favor of the team in a lawsuit filed years ago by a group of Native Americans alleging that the name "Redskins" is too racially offensive to be afforded trademark protections.

The plaintiffs have had some victories on the merits of their case so far — in 1999 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled that the handle was indeed too offensive and canceled the Redskins marks.

But the team appealed, saying that the Native Americans, who began their litigation in the early 1990s, didn't file their trademark challenges in time. So even if the team's name is too offensive, it's irrelevant because the legal shot clock already went off.

And the Redskins technical argument has now been upheld. Clearly, that's the right decision. Because one thing everybody should agree on is: America is a nation of laws. Well, if you ignore all that land stealing and those human-roundups and attempted genocide of native peoples, we're a nation of laws. Kinda sorta...

(Whenever these stories pop up I seek out the best rock song ever written about the offensiveness of the Redskins name: "If You Own the Washington Redskins, You're a Cock," by the great Atom and His Package. The message predates Dan Snyder.)

***

On a happier football note: Women's football has arrived!

But not because of the launch of the Lingerie League. No, women's football has arrived because there's now a ranking system just for the football ladies, put together by something called the Massey Ratings.

And our DC Divas are atop the poll of 49 teams with the IWFL

The undefeated Divas had the No. 2 rated offense and the top rated defense in the land heading into Saturday's game in New York.

DC beat the No. 8 ranked NY Sharks, 21-7, so the No. 1 overall ranking should live another week.

Get on the Divas' bandwagon now!

***

So women have rankings...What's the next step for acceptance?

Betting lines!

Why not? The state of Delaware very quietly passed laws allowing sports betting.

Major sports leagues, mostly the NFL and NCAA, have for decades bullied jurisdictions into not allowing sports books, so Las Vegas has been the only town in the game.

But Delaware didn't have much of anything to lose — no pro franchises, only a couple major college teams — so they put it through. The University of Delaware apparently won't be hosting any lower-tier NCAA playoff games from now on.

There's still some legal issues to work through, but if Vegas-style sports books show up in Delaware, the WHOLE WORLD could change.

All the states that waited too long to get into slots — Maryland, anybody? — should try to get in early on sports betting and balance their budgets with the bucks of all those dumbasses who think they can beat a betting line.

They can't. But why not have sports books everywhere? The pursuit of happiness should include the chance to make a futures bet on the Capitals or Redskins.

And the Divas!

***

Speaking of betting on women in sports: The Preakness!

Nobody showed up to the infield, thanks to those anti-running-of-the-urinals fascists who banned BYOB at the track.

But what a race! Let's hope for a Rachel Alexandra/Mine That Bird rematch in three weeks!

(Alas, the educated picks John Scheinman gave Cheap Seats Daily readers FOR FREE on Friday didn't come in. But anybody who boxed the Purely Sentimental Rachel/Bird combo passed along in the same space cashed an exacta ticket worth $39.20.)

***

I went to Pimlico on Friday, for the running of the Black Eyed Susan Stakes and to get a look at the contenders for the big race a day later.

Mine That Bird looked very small in his stall, noticeably smaller than filly Rachel Alexandra and all the other horses he was sharing a barn with. So I was rooting for the little guy against the big girl. Not just because he's small, but because he's a gelding; that means there's no stud career in his future, so he could be racing for a while.

If Rachel Alexandra was an ungelded boy, the horse would surely be retired right after the Belmont. But he's a she, and there's not as much value for her in retirement, since top stallions can make babies day after day — Maryland stud hero Allen's Prospect once fertilized 120 mares in a single year –  while Rachel can have just one child at a time.

The big buzz on the backstretch was that former Pimlico owner Joe DeFrancis, who grew up in Maryland racing — his father Frank is a legend — might buy back the track from current owner Magna Entertainment, which is now in Chapter 11 reorganization and looks like a goner, at an upcoming bankruptcy auction.

Sell high, buy back low. In the '00s, that's the formula for success.

***

Story tips? Wanna Play the Feud? Tube amps for sale? Send to: cheapseats@washingtoncitypaper.com

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  • http://www.dcabloob.com Everett W.

    Maryland can't allow sports team betting, it's banned under federal law. Delaware can only do so because an exemption was grandfathered in for the state.

  • Dave McKenna

    EW:times have changed since that 1992 law was passed, grandfathering in, i think, four states. all states are hurtin' bad, and everybody's playing fantasy football for money now anyway, so the morality card can't be played.why not balance the budget on football betting? if we're going to have lotteries and horse racing, i'm all for sports books! how can you not be?

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