Welcome to Big League Land; the Board Game of Professional Baseball* (*Unofficial, Please Don't Sue Us)

Article excerpt

Byline: Patrick Hruby, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

After decades of waiting, Washington is once again a big league player. But will District baseball ever reach the promised land? Play the game and find out!

WELCOME TO WASHINGTON

1) START. Congratulations! You've been awarded a big league franchise! Roll dice, pay every other player $20 million.

2) Peter Angelos publishes open letter claiming regional television rights. Go back two spaces.

3) Linda Cropp gives you her word. Go back four spaces.

4) Local professional football team signs backup nose tackle. Lose one above-the-fold headline.

5) Furry new mascot becomes a hit with the kids. Advance two spaces.

6) Wake up to find severed head of Youppi! in bed, along with note reading, "regard, P. Angelos." Go back one space.

SPRING TRAINING

1) Pitchers and catchers report. Advance two spaces or none, if advancing seems like too much work.

2) Jose Canseco hired as hitting instructor. Advance to Capitol Hill.

3) New uniforms contain primary colors. Advance two spaces.

4) New uniforms contain teal. Go back one space.

5) Latin American scout signs next Pedro Martinez. Advance five spaces.

6) GM signs next Albert Belle. Go back four spaces.

BALLPARK CONSTRUCTION

1) Local taxpayers vote down $500 million bond issue to finance shiny new retro park with favorable lease terms. Go directly to Las Vegas!

2) Local taxpayers grudgingly agree to finance $500 million new stadium. Advance one space.

3) Groundbreaking! Collect additional $250 million in cost overruns.

4) New park has grass and sunshine. Advance six spaces.

5) New park has a roof ... and artificial turf. Lose a turn, drop to knees, beg Baseball Gods for forgiveness.

6) New park features outfield pool with swim-up bar and bikini-clad attendants. Advance five spaces.

7) New park features outfield particle accelerator. Go back three spaces.

8) Construction delays force team to play extra year in charmless RFK. Lose a turn.

9) Construction disaster forces team to play a half season in Puerto Rico. Go back to START.

LONGBALL LANE

1) Star slugger discovers flaxseed oil, smashes single-season home run record. Collect $3 million in extra ticket sales, advance two spaces.

2) Flaxseed oil triggers federal probe. Collect two subpoenas and roll again: odd number, advance two spaces; even number, advance three spaces.

3) Personal trainer clams up; slugger offers guarded non-apology; everyone watches "Sanford and Son." Whew! Roll again.

4) Grand Jury leak! Advance to Capitol Hill.

CAPITOL HILL

1) Deny everything. Lose a turn.

2) Cry, refuse to discuss the past, wear goofy glasses. Lose a turn.

3) Claim steroids are bad, even though your best-selling book is a Dianabol love letter. Lose a turn.

4) Mumble, hunch over, act confused, pretend your English isn't "berry" good. Lose a turn.

5) Wag finger, deny ever taking performance-enhancing substances, go back to shilling Viagra. …