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Nationals Tarp Fail

In case you didn't hear, the Nationals tarp failed Saturday night, which led to fans rushing down out of the stands in a futile attempt to help, security guards lending their muscle, security guards comically slipping and falling in the middle of the field, Anderson Hernandez sprinting to get out of the way of the action, and general jovial mayhem.

"They're having a tough time getting that tarp...." one of the Phillies broadcasters observed

"They sure are," the other said.

"They need more manpower," the conversation continued. Yeah, tell me about it.

In the end, they declared a do-over, and just started again. Too bad you can't do that with a season. And, in an absolutely mandatory but nonetheless satisfying conclusion, the remaining fans gave a rousing ovation to the successful tarping of the field.

This was not the Nats story of the weekend that most intrigued me. That would be the story of a new promotion involving sausages being inserted into and then fired from t-shirt guns, only problem being the sausages disintegrate under such explosive stress. Whether or not that story is true, I have no idea, though I pray nightly that someone sends me a photo of a disintegrated sausage. In the meantime, five possible reasons for the tarp failure.

1) When team officials purchased the tarp, they had no idea that it was actually 21 years old.

2) Due to an administrative mistake, the outside of the team's tarp storage unit reads not "Tarp" but "Trap." Bad for morale, if nothing else.

3) It was the late innings at Nats Park, things weren't going too well, and you're going to bring in reinforcements for relief? I mean, what do you think is going to happen? They're lucky the stadium didn't burn down.

4) Random joke about Jim Bowden being incompetent and/or the Lerners being cheap.

5) This is Washington. Despite the best of intentions, TARP was always doomed to failure.

(Via Sports Rubbish and The 700 Level, which helpfully labels the Nats "the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.")

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 18, 2009; 7:10 AM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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Wow, can't believe the Phillies broadcast the whole thing! MASN cut to alternate programming immediately when the rain came down, so I only heard about it through Twitter. Those fans who got to help must have some stories to tell now, though!

Posted by: misschatter | May 18, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

$600 million stadium, right there.

Posted by: Section117 | May 18, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

--This isn't the first time the Nats have had problems getting the tarp on the field.

--With MASN cutting out and mostly StanK's phavorite phans at the game it's not surprising that this story came out of the Philly blogs.

--It absolutely poured Saturday night, but it didn't rain for very long, so if not for this latest debacle we would have been able to resume the game with three at-bats left to try to rally.

--The sausages do fall out of the wrappers while in flight, I've seen it from the upper deck but I haven't seen the results up close to find out if any messy condiments were included.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | May 18, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

The 700 Level, which helpfully labels the Nats "the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked."

Simpsons quote.

Posted by: ThisGuy | May 18, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

We were at the 1:00 saturday game and saw the whole exploding sausage thing. It was awesome; t-shirts were flying out but the buns were left behind exploding in the air raining down on people as if screech was feeding pigeons.

Posted by: james67 | May 18, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

couple things steinz.
1. No random fans helped out. That was the Natpack.
2. The sausage issue has been addressed.

Posted by: MDG26 | May 18, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Hahahaha! But also...sheesh guys. If any other team that wasn't in the weeds of the season had a tarp failure, I'm sure it would be less-than-Bog-worthy.

So let's all be grateful about the fact that, because we're the laughing stock of the MLB, this is actually funny "news"!


Posted by: emcole | May 18, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Also, they do the hotdog-gun thing up at Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg and I think it works OK. Maybe Chico can write a review of the dogs there versus at home, and merge his two writing passions?


Posted by: emcole | May 18, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I remember the first time they had trouble with the tarp during the first season at RFK. Talk about undermanned even after pulling guys out of the back and from the parking lots they didn't have half the people that they had Saturday night pulling on the thing. The scoreboard started flashing "PULL! PULL! PULL!" and the theme from Rocky played as they tried to get the field covered.

It took them a good 30-45 minutes to get the thing over the field. And once they did, the umpire crew decided to end the game against the Mets after 8 innings because it took the crew so long to get the tarp out.

Posted by: CapsNut | May 18, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Grounds crew had to come out to right field and pick up pieces of foil and sausage bun. Mock was out throwing with Dunn between innings in game 1 on Saturday and he got showered.

Posted by: glebe | May 19, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

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