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So far the Nationals, from principal owner Mark Lerner and Kasten on down, have maintained a stolid public front in the face of this year’s on-field calamities. Maybe the Nats ought to borrow Washington Mystics president Sheila Johnson, who tore her equally underachieving troops a new one this week.

One thing for sure: The Nats can’t continue this way if they’re ever to challenge the almighty Redskins for local sporting supremacy. Folks in this town will support a loser only so long, and the ballclub has more than exceeded its honeymoon period.

Earlier this season, teeth were gnashed and garments rent over TV ratings that showed only 9,000 households a game tuned in to the Nats in a metropolitan area of 5.3 million. By now, that number might be down to 900, especially with the Olympics flooding the airwaves. Why watch a team with no chance of playing a meaningful game and little chance of winning?

It’s a shame that our baseball renaissance has come to this. For 33 years, we endured summers without a major league team. Now we seem to be in that sad and sorry position again.