City Desk

The Needle: Wilson Edition

Stealing Home: Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is one of the team's up and coming stars. Which may be why Venezuelan gunmen took him from his home near Caracas last night; if you can't ransom a millionaire baseball player for a hefty sum, who can you kidnap? Fortunately, authorities in Venezuela say they believe Ramos is alive. Unfortunately, his family hasn't heard from the men who took him hostage. Games in the country's winter baseball league went ahead today as planned. -3

Location, Location, Location: Houses in D.C. aren't just expensive—they're also small. A new study by Realtor.com shows the median home size is 1,000 square feet, while the median price is $432,500. That could buy you a 3,890 square foot, 5-bedroom house in Omaha, Neb. Of course, then you'd live in Omaha, Neb. -1

Thanks For The Monuments: Climbing the Washington Monument appears to be addictive. The same team of engineers that rappelled down the obelisk in September looking for earthquake damage did it again today, setting up equipment to begin preparing the monument for winter. We didn't realize the Washington Monument was basically a summer vacation condo rental where you had to be sure to take the patio furniture in. The engineers have also, of course, scaled the National Cathedral; if not for the Height Act, they'd probably have a lot more stuff to climb around town. +2

So Long, Soccer?: The official policy of Major League Soccer is that D.C. United can stay at RFK Stadium, but not for the price it's paying in rent now. So said MLS CommissionerDon Garber, who went on to mock RFK in a media conference call by talking about the various fauna that have taken up residence in the stadium. If United can't adjust its lease, or build a new stadium in the area, or build one in Baltimore, the league will move the team. Which would mean not a single pro sports team left in D.C. that's won a league title in the last 20 years. -2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 31 Today's score: -4 Today's Needle rating: 27
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