by Chris 'Blue Shorts' Lingebach

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Sometime after the Nationals finished off the Phillies 9-6 Tuesday night, they returned to the team hotel in Philadelphia and participated in a fantasy football draft, according to manager Davey Johnson.

He admitted as much in his weekly hit with the Junkies on 106.7 The Fan on Wednesday, and although Johnson was murky on the rules of fantasy sports, he expressed hesitancy in going into great detail about his players’ participation, fearing the path the questioning would lead him down, for reasons that will become clear in a moment.

“We’re all fired up for the NFL season to start, and we’re all a bunch of fantasy football players,” JP of the Junkies said. “Do you play any fantasy sports, Davey, or do you know of guys on the team playing fantasy football?”

“Oh man, they were up late last night with the draft and all that, man,” Johnson responded.

“Which guys are in it?” Lurch asked.

“Just about all of them,” Johnson answered. “Even got some coaches involved. So I don’t even want to go there.”

There must have been like three leagues or something.

“What about guys from like the Dominican? Do they even know what American football is?” Cakes asked.

For the record, the Nationals have three players on their roster of Dominican descent – Fernando Abad, Rafael Soriano and Eury Perez – not that that’s of any relevance to anything.

“Oh yea. Oh yea,” Davey said.

Davey told the guys the ring leader of the draft was likely Jayson Werth, but couldn’t say with any certainty because he wasn’t in attendance.

“So hold on, the fantasy draft was last night after the game at the hotel?” Lurch sought further confirmation.

“Yea. Yea. Yea,” Davey repeated.

Their game wrapped up sometime around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, according to Adam Kilgore (or 10:45, whichever Twitter chooses to display).

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This is when the conversation began to head down that dark, withering path we discussed earlier, and Davey started applying the brakes.

“The buy-in’s probably a thousand bucks per player!” Cakes laughed.

“What’s the buy-in, Davey?” EB questioned.

“No, no and I’m not giving you all that information,” Johnson said. “I’m not ratting my guys out. It just may be more like gambling, I don’t know.”

“Do you understand fantasy sports?” JP asked.

“A little bit, yea,” he answered, although it didn’t sound like he did.

Also for the record, there are no MLB rules in place forbidding players from participating in fantasy sports.

League rules on betting:

  • Any player, umpire, or club official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has no duty to perform shall be declared ineligible for one year.
  • Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.

Luckily, that’s not what we’re talking about here.

“Do guys ever make bets in the dugout? Let’s just say for fun. Not for money, but like bets on individual at-bats, like I’m going to get the guy right now, or anything like that?” JP asked.

“No,” Davey cut him down. “We don’t do that. No.”

“I’m sure betting for no money is fun,” Cakes lightened the mood.

“That’s another one, guys,” Davey got serious. “Why are you talking about gambling?”

“Yea, we can’t do that,” Lurch said.

“Do you think you’re talking to Pete Rose or something?” Davey asked.

“I mean Davey, you’re almost done!” JP exclaimed. “You got another month to go. You can talk about anything!”

“No, I want to try to survive without getting fired my last shot,” Johnson returned to form.

Gambling talk ceased from there and the conversation reverted to a more “normal” level, but Davey, in traditional Davey fashion, would have the last laugh at the conclusion of the interview.

“Guys, I’ll try to get a little more info on the gambling.”


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