Talk about a Blue Monday in the nation's capital.
First, the Five Guys burger chain announced that it is abandoning its reportedly popular location inside Nationals Park. No reason has been given, though there is another Five Guys spot nearby in the Navy Yard area. Is it because Adam Dunn(notes) left town?
I mean, that's bad enough news for those who like their Nats baseball along with a bacon cheeseburger with everything on it.
And then a little later on, Nats Blog first reported that the Future of the Franchise, Mr. Bryce Harper(notes), went down with a sprained left ankle while playing in a minor league intrasquad game. One moment he was running down to first base, the next he was being carted off.
Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington reports via Twitter that the club will take X-rays to determine the severity of the injury. For now, young Bryce is day to day.
With Harper slated to start the season in the minors, he has plenty of time to heal no matter how sprained his ankle is. And maybe Five Guys is better off not being inside the ballpark, too.
I used to freak out a little bit when an outside franchise would place a location inside a ballpark, but it's fairly commonplace now. Some stadiums even have McDonald's inside of them. Yick!
Back when U.S. Cellular Field was built, the White Sox would name the Polish sausage stand after Greg Luzinski — for example — and fans would be made aware of certain sponsorships. But it wasn't really Greg Luzinski's Polish sausage. It was just some Polish sausage with Bull's name and likeness slapped on a sign.
To that end, a certain part of me has never been comfortable with allowing "outsiders" inside the ballpark. If you want to eat Five Guys, then go to Five Guys before or after the game. The ballpark is for ballpark food. Hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, whatever — just name it after has-beens of the previous decade and charge triple.
If I want fancy brand names, then there's always outside the confines of my home stadium. Perhaps this is a lesson Five Guys has learned.