RESULT: Nats lose to Giants 6-3.

GOOD: Wee Willie Harris. 2-for4 again. Homered again. Maybe Bowden will reward him with a 2-year, $16 MM contract? Paul LoDuca. As much as it pains me, Cap't Red-Ass came through when he had the chance with a ground-rule double, infield single and 2 RBIs.

BAD: Jason Bergman. You can't put your team in a hole early, and Bergy just wasn't ready to start this game. Lead-off homer to Fred Lewis. Tow-run shot to Bengie Molina. Down by three after one. That's a death sentence to this team.

UGLY: Jim Bowden's propensity for handing out "reward" contracts. Look people, I admire as much as anyone what Guzman's done this year. Remarkable really. But making a guy with a lifetime .305 OBP your highest paid player? Really?? Bowden said yesterday that Guzman did the team a "favor" taking into consideration his last bloated contract and how he spent 4/5 of it not earning it.

FAVOR? Giving a pudgy shortstop who is allergic to walks $16MM for two years is a favor. Great that it's not a longer deal. But it's $2-4MM more PER YEAR more than he would have gotten on the market, which makes up for those extra year or two he may have gotten. It will be real interesting to see what Rafael Furcal and Orlando Hudson get as free agents this off-season. That's when we can really determine how lousy a deal this is.

Also, Bonifacio better be ready, as JimBow and Rizzo think. Because if Guz has to lead-off again, it's that much worst. Guz is a #2 or #8 hitter. That's it.

Another also: Closers grow on trees (see: Rauch, Jon). Stop worrying about it. The trade was a good one. I don't agree with Bowden often, but he got this one right:
"You have to trade a reliever when you have the chance to get an everyday position player who's 23 years old. You have to do it."
He's the fastest guy in professional baseball. He was MVP of the Dominican League last winter. He can hit and is learning plate discipline. He's 23! Again, this was a good deal. Stop worrying about trading "the closer". If he were still setting up Cordero, people would be throwing Bowden a parade today, getting a potential 40-steal guy for a set-up man. Closing is all about opportunity, nothing else. Now Hanrahan has that opportunity. A star is born. Rant over.

NEXT GAME: Wednesday night, 10:15 pm. Colin Balestar (1-2, 5.87) on the mound against Kevin Correia (1-5, 5.81). Enjoy. I'll be at Camden Yards celebrating the heroes of my youth, the 1983 World Series Champion Baltimore Orioles. Cal, Ed-die, Palmer, The Earl. Ah, sweet memories.