As the Washington Nationals march to their first postseason in the post-Expos era, a conflict is brewing over whether fans should have to literally march home after extra-late-for-TV playoff games. Unlike civilized mass transit systems, the D.C. Metro shuts down at midnight and costs $29,500 an hour to run overtime.
That should be pocket change for an MLB club selling Bryce Harper jerseys by the thousands, but the Nats refuse to pay, leaving fans who traveled in on mass transit stranded. (The club says the city of D.C. should foot the bill, despite other local teams such as the Capitals having deals with the city to keep the Metro open.)
Now a D.C. councilmember says the Nationals' stinginess is MLB-imposed. Jack Evans told a local news program that MLB has a policy banning teams from paying for late-night public transit when games run late. (Readers familiar with MLB's social media policies should not find this surprising.)
A senior Nats official allegedly confirmed the MLB rule, which means thousands of passionate Nationals fans may miss out on attending a postseason game because Bud Selig doesn't want them to be there. Major League Baseball allegedly fears a precedent being set; if so, who cares? The very policy reflects how the league is the most anti-fan professional sports organization in America, though we do wonder exactly how MLB would sanction the Nats if they put the money up themselves anyway.