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Yet there is still reason for die-hard types to pay attention to the Nats. Every time a tough chance rockets his way, Zimmerman is a threat to make people forget about Brooks Whatshisname. Wily Mo Pena could hit a ball as far as Dumfries, provided he hits it at all. Jesus Flores resembles an All-Star catcher in waiting. John Lannan and Jason Bergmann have been spectacular at times on the mound.

And, oh yes, we can all soak in the expensive splendor of Nationals Park, even if you can’t see the Capitol from most seats.

For the time being, then, we’ll have to take our baseball pleasure in small doses while we wait, again, for a Washington team to enrapture us en masse. And let’s always remember the biggest truth of all: Mediocre baseball, no matter how aggravating, is better than no baseball.