Heck, you can even go oldfashioned and simply find me at Metro Bank Park or write an actual letter. While this is the last scheduled notebook of the season, we can still answer your questions personally or perhaps in a special playoff notebook. So don't hesitate to keep sending.
Q: Followup to a question last week: While professional baseball will be played in Harrisburg for many years to come, the Senators' player development contract with the Nationals expires after the 2014 season. What's the likelihood of a renewal between the Nationals and Senators in 2014? Does Richmond's stadium situation (outdated) help the Nationals' involvement with Harrisburg?
A: This was also a question I heard a lot in 2011, but Senators president Kevin Kulp and Nationals' director of player development Doug Harris often said and seemed to genuinely believe it that the relationship was mutually strong. Then the contract was renewed for two years in 2012. Harris, who lives in Carlisle, is a frequent guest at Metro Bank Park. The Senators have been with the Expos/Nationals since 1991, and even though there were some Richmond rumors a few years ago, I don't think we'll see fruition.
The Diamond in Richmond underwent some renovations before this season, but it's still an older ballpark and doesn't compare favorably to the recently rebuilt Metro Bank Park. That definitely helps Harrisburg. As for the mileage, it's not terribly different. While Richmond would certainly benefit from having the Nationals instead of the Giants, I just don't see this happening. I think the SenatorsNationals marriage continues for years.
A: People have been asking this question for decades and will surely continue asking this questions for decades more, as the phrase is still used to describe routine fly balls. Seems the most commonly accepted answer, and one that was relayed to me by Kulp when he heard of this question last week, is it dates to the late 19th Century and originated when grocers would use a stick to knock down a can of corn from a top shelf and easily catch it in their hands or aprons.
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