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About that Philly fan invasion


Maybe having tens of thousands Philadelphia fans invade your home stadium is inevitable. Their city is nearby. Their team is successful. Their fans evidently don't have work responsibilities. That's cool. I get it.

Still, it rankles D.C. fans. It will always rankle D.C. fans., whether Redskins fans staring at Terrible Towels, Caps fans being drowned out in their own building (in the bad old days) or Nats fans surrounded on Opening Day. And there seem to remain some indications that the powers-that-be don't understand that.

Witness Mark Lerner's recent interview with Nats 320, in which he was asked about winning over more D.C.-area residents. After admitting the team needs to establish a stronger brand locally, he said this:

I also would tell you that we intend to broaden our audience beyond the 5.5 million [local residents]. There is no other sports franchise in America that can claim to represent the National Pastime in the Nation's Capital. We want everyone who visits Washington, D.C. to see the White House, the Capitol, and all the monuments, to join us when they spend their summer evenings in our city. We see the Nationals becoming America's Home Team. Our city belongs to all Americans, and we believe our team does, too. We are one Metro stop from the U.S. Capitol, and absolutely the finest sports venue to see the Capitol lights at night.

As generic boilerplate rhetoric, independent from actual events, that's fine enough. In light of the past two games at Nationals Park, though, it reads like an open invitation to the world to come rape and pillage Half Street, or at least fill D.C.'s stadium with the wrong chants. Washington sports fans don't want to root for a team that belongs to all Americans; they want to root for a team that belongs to them.

Bud Selig did D.C. even dirtier. Asked about the Philly invasion on Monday, the commissioner offered this:

"I think it's great," Selig said. "I think it's great for the sport."

Sure, it's an impossible predicament for the commish, but "great" isn't a very sleek escape maneuver. Who was Monday's crowd great for? For the sport? I guess. For whoever makes money off the concessions? Undoubtedly. For actual Washington Nationals fans? Well, judging by the blog posts, it would appear not.

Nationals Enquirer: "Opening Day 2010 goes in the books as one of the low points in the brief history of the Washington Nationals."

Nats Triple Play: "I've seen a lot of embarrassing things on and off the field over six years of Nats fandom, but I was never embarrassed to be a fan of this franchise until today. I understand that Washington is a city of perpetual transplants, and local sporting events are always going to be forums for showcasing divided loyalties. I also accept that DC is a front-running town that loves to claim winners as its own. (I grew up here, I'm a big boy, I know the score.) But none of that provides an excuse for what I saw in the stands at Nationals Park today."

Capitol Punishment: "They lost to Ol' Roy. That's going to happen. But they lost big. They lost embarrassingly. And they lost in front of a Philly crowd. Heck of a job there, Stanley."

Nationals Inquisition: "I just don't feel respected as a Nats fan. I just don't....Would this kind of stuff ever happen in Boston or New York? Hell, this sort of thing doesn't even happen in Pittsburgh. Where was the stuff to get me excited as a NATS FAN? Where was the glitz, glam, bobbles and trinkets that make me excited to be a NATS FAN? What did the team do that made me proud to be a NATS FAN? Where was any sort of pride in being a NATS FAN?"

And the thing of it is, I was ready to salute the franchise for some incredible good news this week. Did you see The Post poll about which teams local fans choose as their favorite? Here were the results:

Redskins: 31 percent
Capitals: 13 percent
Nationals: 8 percent
Wizards: 5 percent
D.C. United: 5 percent
No preference: 32 percent

I'm no statistician, but I think The Post story spun this completely wrong. The gist was "Nationals still have inroads to make," but I came away with the complete opposite perception.

The Redskins have been here forever and have won three Super Bowls; I'd have guessed they'd be way higher. The Capitals have the best record in the league and are poised to challenge for a Stanley Cup, but they're barely ahead of baseball's worst team?

And to be ahead of the Wizards? D.C. is forever described as a basketball town. The Wizards have been to the playoffs four of the past six seasons. The franchise has won an NBA title. This region produces countless NBA stars. And yet, a baseball team with a brief history, no winning seasons, and back-to-back 100-loss blemishes actually has more fans identify it as their favorite team? That's tremendous. That's remarkable.

But this, written by a Phillies fan, on Yahoo Sports?

If giving high fives to a thousand strangers to make them seem like your closest friends wasn't enough to set the tone for the day, once we got into the park there was an energy I certainly had never felt before -- especially as a visitor to another club's stadium.

The atmosphere was nothing short of electric -- it almost felt like a home game. Fans were on their feet for practically every at-bat. Jimmy Rollins lays off the first pitch? A standing ovation. Chase Utley walks three times? Three standing ovations. Halladay gets a hit? Another ovation. Placido Polanco hits a grand slam giving him a career-high six RBIs in one game? The crowd goes ballistic
.

That's no good. (If you really want to feel sick, check out this post-game video from the Bullpen. It isn't just the horizontal alignment that will cause nausea.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 6, 2010; 10:27 AM ET
Categories:  Nats , Redskins  
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Next: McNabb wants to meet Obama

Comments

Dan, you haven't asked the most important question, and I hope you will?

How did they get their tickets?

There were BUSLOADS of Phillies fans at this game -- actual tour buses from Philadephia parked all around -- yet many fans here in D.C. couldn't get tickets to the game at ANY point in the off season. It sure looks to me like the Nats sold group tickets to organizations in Philly before they even made individual tickets available to their own market.

Can you please please please use those credentials of yours to dig into this?

Posted by: wahoo2x | April 6, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Agent Steinz, is there any chance, any at all, that we could get someone at the Post to go over to Nats Park, knock on Stan's door and Mark Lerner's door, and get them to defend their corporate decision to sell blocks of thousands of tickets to Phillies fans before even offering Nats fans the chance to buy them?

Posted by: comish4lif | April 6, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Please, dancing Philly fans, keep your armpits down...

Posted by: rademaar | April 6, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

This also happens to the Orioles when they play the Yankees or Red Sox. It's a simple equation: A bad team vs. a relatively close good team = a full house for the away team. The reason it doesn't happen in Pittsburgh is because Pittsburgh is at least a 5 hour drive from another AL team and because people just don't move to the Pittsburgh area.

Besides, (talking about front runners) the large influx of Phillies fans to Nationals Park only started after they won the World Series. Before that, Phillies fans weren't anywhere near as numerous. I would say they were on par with Braves fans. It was Mets fans who were the biggest Nationals Park/RFK away team supporters.

Posted by: ektar | April 6, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Bloggy - completely agree with wahoo2x.

I have season tickets and went, but was trying to get tickets for friends for weeks. Even my ticket rep shut me down.

BUT, then entire sections for Philly? There was even a group who had matching maroon Phillies t-shirts. The way Lerner sounds, it wouldn't shock me if we sold group packages to Philly at a mark-up.

Would Philly fans have made it in anyway? OF COURSE. Would DC fans have sold their tickets to out-of-towners? No doubt. But don't tell me that after two straight 100-loss seasons we ALL OF A SUDDEN can sell out before tickets even go one sale, a good month before anyone knew it would be a beautiful day.

Its crap. Its Kasten & Co figuring that they'd rather make the buck instead of Stub-Hubbers and brokers. We KILLED the Skins for this. Someone needs to take a closer look.

The season ticket base is likely around 10K. So how did 30K tickets get sold over-night? Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: Rhino20 | April 6, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Reposted:

Group ticket sales are available before individual seats so the Philly Tailgate company alone bought up over a thousand seats before they were available to
anyone but season ticket holders (and we all know how few of those are left). The question is why would Kasten allow this to happen. The game was going to be sold out so they didn't need to allow the Philly fans to suck up all the tickets before individual Nats fans got the chance.

I've been to a ton of Caps, Bullets/Wizards, Redskins, Nats, and even the United games over the past few decades where there were large numbers of opposing team's fans and I would say that that was by far the worst take-over of our home field in the history of DC sports.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 6, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"Pittsburgh is at least a 5 hour drive from another AL team"

Make that NL team...

Posted by: ektar | April 6, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Dan....like others have said....please dig into this fraud of a franchise.

Please hold the thrifty Lerners and the over-rated, self-promoting, carnival barker Stan Kasten responsible for practically ruining all the joy of the return of baseball to Washington. No more excuses.

Boswell is too busy blowing kisses in their direction.

Posted by: 24nats | April 6, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

ATTENTION NATS FANS! If you're going to the game Wednesday or Thursday or any other time they play us here. Be sure to answer, and volley the "LETS-GO- PHILLIES" chant with "95 NORTH!"
If they want to go, they now have directions.

Posted by: epostell | April 6, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I believe tickets went on sale on March 1st. I logged on at 10:40 that morning and tried to buy four tickets. Nothing available. Went down to two tickets....nothing available. I then tried to get 4 single tickets (and watch from the Red Loft) but nothing. Are you telling me that the Nats sold out their home opener in 45 minutes?? How did all the Philly fans get all the tickets?? Philly has the right to buy tickets too, but how do they get better access than Nat fans? I was a season ticket holder for 3 years and I couldn't even get tickets to opening day because the Nats sold them to Philly first? How does that work?? Anyway, good showing for Phillie phans but that will happen after a couple World Series appearances (see Boston). People love you win you win....

Posted by: Loggie1 | April 6, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Mark Lerner's Quote: "There is no other sports franchise in America that can claim to represent the National Pastime in the Nation's Capital."

Well, other than the Orioles.

Posted by: kolbkl | April 6, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

We were wondering how so many Philly Phans got tickets. There were supposedly 17 BUSLOADS coming down. They were so obnoxious yesterday, and got worse as the game progressed (and the beers consumed). I won't continue to go to these games if we have so many invaders from the north. I will exchange my tix for other games.

Posted by: 1of9000 | April 6, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

It's all about winning. Look at Camden Yards. Whenever Boston or the Yankees come to town, they take over there as well. DC has to make up of 2 generation of fans not having a home team to root for. It will take time and some winning to be a baseball town.

Posted by: nats_fan | April 6, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I went down to the park to buy Opening Day tickets on 3/2. They had some ticket marketing skank from the team claiming that they were very close to having only single seats available. I blew her off because last year I bought Opening Day tickets and they were easily available. Now, I believe she was right...BECAUSE THE TEAM ALREADY SOLD 3/4 OF THE STADIUM TO PHILLY FANS!

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | April 6, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Kasten and the Lerners have made their first impression on the fans; can't wash that awful taste away by doing anything else besides winning. And even that may not ever elevate the Nats to even DC United status in this town.

Posted by: kahlua87 | April 6, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

HA HA Nats fans! We took over your stadium yesterday. Wonder how your players felt being booed at their home opener. Maybe some day Washington fans will have a drip of passion for their teams to travel to a game. You can't even sell out your own buildings. Good luck with McNaab! Hope your receivers can catch balls thrown at their feet.

Posted by: jpstuhr | April 6, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Nice rhythm... uh, no.

Philly chick? Hideous

Posted by: Darren_ | April 6, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I concur - the Post should be all over the Natinals for this, and not just in a blog. Riggleman's comments about the crowd were very telling as to how it was perceived from the "Home" dugout (considering his comments were probably tempered by good judgment).

But hey, it WAS a sellout, right StanK?

Posted by: kingrob76 | April 6, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Philly fans are the reason I couldn't get tickets to the game. The Nats need a much more fan friendly approach to selling tickets. I have no idea why nationals.com never stated that Opening Day was sold out even though it was days after single tickets went on sale. A couple thousand $5 tickets don't count. Also, I know we are in the Capital of the Free World but do the Nats have to have an association with the global war on terror.

Did Fenty actually buy tickets to the game? No DC Council members were there using their freebees from Nats ownership, another sore point. Was this arrangement part of the contract for the stadium? If so, who requested to put them in as part of the deal?

Posted by: interactingdc | April 6, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The minute Philly starts losing they will leave us alone. They are front-running boo their own fans. Eagles fans at FED EX are to drunk by kickoff to realize they haven't won a championship since 1960. Phillie fans are just like Red Sox fans who just realized it is cool to root for a recent WS champ. Flyer & Sixer fans are non-factors since they haven't won anything recently.

Hopefully the Nationals are on the right path and just like Verizon center Nats park will be Rocking Nationals Red!!

Posted by: dph60 | April 6, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I got down to 8th and I around 1100 and much to my chagrin was dumbfounded by the total numbers of Filthy Fans boozing it up and acting like belligerent jerks. We counted 32 buses in the WW Lot. When I got down to my seats in 138 a lady grabed my sons hand and said how glad she was to see some Nats fans. She said, "look around we are surrounded". All of the outfield sections had at least 70% Filthy fans it was disgusting. The LernerStanks should be ashamed of themselves, the DC sports fans should be ashamed. The LernerStanK under the direction of BudCo have run a fraud for the past 4 years and it showed today big time. I for one have had enough of this and I'm not afraid to let Stank hear about it. They have failed to cultivate a baseball culture and eventually the seas of empty blue seats will bare that out come games against lesser followed teams. Besides the total media infatuation with anything McNabb, feeling threatened in your home ball park and the total lack of baseball knowledge by the local Sports Media, its just been a bad 24 hours. Looking down the road a bit I guess we will catch a break during the next homestand, the Phillies and thier hordes of drunken fans won't be here.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | April 6, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Huh? Does DC have a Professional Baseball team? Thought they were the Generals of the MLB...batting practice for major leaguers.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 6, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I noticed on the jumbotron an exceedingly large number of Philadelphia-based organizations that got their names posted. That does not happen overnight, or even within several days before an event. Clearly, Philly fans bought up the stadium. What an embarrassment!

I'm one of the few Nats fans left, I guess, and there sure were only a few of us cheering on our "team."

Oh, and this is a new and "improved" team? Can you say FLAT?

Posted by: luv2bikva | April 6, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Huh? Does DC have a Professional Baseball team? Thought they were the Generals of the MLB...batting practice for major leaguers.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 6, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

It was embarrassing as a Nats fan. We have no product on the field and our stadium is overrun with out of towners. I am as big a fan of the Nats as just about anyone in this town, but it will be a long time before I return to a game.

No longer will I support owners that do not support the fans or provide a legitimate major league product.

Posted by: S2DU | April 6, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I noticed on the jumbotron an exceedingly large number of Philadelphia-based organizations that got their names posted. That does not happen overnight, or even within several days before an event. Clearly, Philly fans bought up the stadium. What an embarrassment!

I'm one of the few Nats fans left, I guess, and there sure were only a few of us cheering on our "team."

Oh, and this is a new and "improved" team? Can you say FLAT?

Posted by: luv2bikva | April 6, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

It was embarrassing as a Nats fan. We have no product on the field and our stadium is overrun with out of towners. I am as big a fan of the Nats as just about anyone in this town, but it will be a long time before I return to a game.

No longer will I support owners that do not support the fans or provide a legitimate major league product.

Posted by: S2DU | April 6, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I got down to 8th and I around 1100 and much to my chagrin was dumbfounded by the total numbers of Filthy Fans boozing it up and acting like belligerent jerks. We counted 32 buses in the WW Lot. When I got down to my seats in 138 a lady grabed my sons hand and said how glad she was to see some Nats fans. She said, "look around we are surrounded". All of the outfield sections had at least 70% Filthy fans it was disgusting. The LernerStanks should be ashamed of themselves, the DC sports fans should be ashamed. The LernerStanK under the direction of BudCo have run a fraud for the past 4 years and it showed today big time. I for one have had enough of this and I'm not afraid to let Stank hear about it. They have failed to cultivate a baseball culture and eventually the seas of empty blue seats will bare that out come games against lesser followed teams. Besides the total media infatuation with anything McNabb, feeling threatened in your home ball park and the total lack of baseball knowledge by the local Sports Media, its just been a bad 24 hours. Looking down the road a bit I guess we will catch a break during the next homestand, the Phillies and thier hordes of drunken fans won't be here.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | April 6, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

It was embarrassing as a Nats fan. We have no product on the field and our stadium is overrun with out of towners. I am as big a fan of the Nats as just about anyone in this town, but it will be a long time before I return to a game.

No longer will I support owners that do not support the fans or provide a legitimate major league product.

Posted by: S2DU | April 6, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@jpstuhr

Hey Filthydelphian, there must be very little room on that World Series bandwagon, huh? Enjoy it while it lasts. And thanks for M-C-N-A-B-B. I'm sure you and your thousands of other drunk Eagle fans will like watching Kolb while you fight the Giants for last place in the NFC East.

Now go back to your dirty city.

Posted by: Jayman77 | April 6, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I got down to 8th and I around 1100 and much to my chagrin was dumbfounded by the total numbers of Filthy Fans boozing it up and acting like belligerent jerks. We counted 32 buses in the WW Lot. When I got down to my seats in 138 a lady grabed my sons hand and said how glad she was to see some Nats fans. She said, "look around we are surrounded". All of the outfield sections had at least 70% Filthy fans it was disgusting. The LernerStanks should be ashamed of themselves, the DC sports fans should be ashamed. The LernerStanK under the direction of BudCo have run a fraud for the past 4 years and it showed today big time. I for one have had enough of this and I'm not afraid to let Stank hear about it. They have failed to cultivate a baseball culture and eventually the seas of empty blue seats will bare that out come games against lesser followed teams. Besides the total media infatuation with anything McNabb, feeling threatened in your home ball park and the total lack of baseball knowledge by the local Sports Media, its just been a bad 24 hours. Looking down the road a bit I guess we will catch a break during the next homestand, the Phillies and thier hordes of drunken fans won't be here.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | April 6, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

HA HA Nats fans! We took over your stadium yesterday. Wonder how your players felt being booed at their home opener. Maybe some day Washington fans will have a drip of passion for their teams to travel to a game. You can't even sell out your own buildings. Good luck with McNaab! Hope your receivers can catch balls thrown at their feet.

Posted by: jpstuhr | April 6, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

HA HA PHILADELPHIA! That forgotten city between NY and Washington. I guess if I was a Philly native I too would seek to escape the pervasive aura of inferiority and come hang out in a real city that matters.

Posted by: thedude1974 | April 6, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

1. I blame the nats for not having enough sack to tell MLB to F_ off with this middle of a work day opening day BS. We work in this town. Your not the alpha-dog sport anymore. Open the season either on a weekend day or at night in DC.

2. Don't call the ticketing people skanks, they are people too, none of them have any say what so ever in their policies of selling tickets outside of a DC VA or MD zipcode.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 6, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

HA HA PHILADELPHIA! That forgotten city between NY and Washington. I guess if I was a Philly native I too would seek to escape the pervasive aura of inferiority and come hang out in a real city that matters.

Posted by: thedude1974 | April 6, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals will not develop a loyal following as long as the home team fans are squeezed out of the "event games".

The sell out was nice yesterday. Nice for the owners. But look at the message it's sending to the fans:
1)You don't matter, at all ever.
2)Money is money no matter the message

So, we don't matter. Fine. Remember that when there are 5,000 people watching the 12 game against the Marlins. Remember that next opening day when no one even tries to get tickets becuase no one wants to spend a day with tourists.

Worse yet, look at the message it sends to the players:
1) You don't need a home field, we need money so we can still have a low pay roll
2) Free agents, if you really want to stay with your original team, sign with the Nats. When your former team plays here it will be like you never left.

Lerners and friends are about the short term buck. They have no vision. They have no clue. Of all the fans who wanted to go yesterday and couldn't, why would they try again? They were shown what value they have to the team. When the Nats need money, they can skip my wallet and send their requests to the Phillies, Cubs and Pirates.

Oh, by the way, I tried to watch the game yesterday on T.V.. It was sickening to hear nothing but Philly chants all game. During the introductions there was more cheering for the visitors. After one inning I changed the station. Rather watch an old episode of "Bewitched" than try to watch a away game for the home team.

This is just more of the same for a bunch of baseball marketing morons who only want money today with no cosideration for tomorrow.

If Bud had a clue he would take the Lerners to the woodshed over this. Baseball can not and will not last here if the local fans are discounted at every turn. It's disgusting.

It's going to be another 3 or 4 years before the DC Phillies look like a contender and Strasberg will only pitch every 5 day, maybe 18 home games. That isn't a lot to bank on. 18 sell outs and 63 near empty houses.

Great job!!! But I ask, when did Bob Short repurchase the Nats?

Posted by: tzj20874 | April 6, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals will not develop a loyal following as long as the home team fans are squeezed out of the "event games".

The sell out was nice yesterday. Nice for the owners. But look at the message it's sending to the fans:
1)You don't matter, at all ever.
2)Money is money no matter the message

So, we don't matter. Fine. Remember that when there are 5,000 people watching the 12 game against the Marlins. Remember that next opening day when no one even tries to get tickets becuase no one wants to spend a day with tourists.

Worse yet, look at the message it sends to the players:
1) You don't need a home field, we need money so we can still have a low pay roll
2) Free agents, if you really want to stay with your original team, sign with the Nats. When your former team plays here it will be like you never left.

Lerners and friends are about the short term buck. They have no vision. They have no clue. Of all the fans who wanted to go yesterday and couldn't, why would they try again? They were shown what value they have to the team. When the Nats need money, they can skip my wallet and send their requests to the Phillies, Cubs and Pirates.

Oh, by the way, I tried to watch the game yesterday on T.V.. It was sickening to hear nothing but Philly chants all game. During the introductions there was more cheering for the visitors. After one inning I changed the station. Rather watch an old episode of "Bewitched" than try to watch a away game for the home team.

This is just more of the same for a bunch of baseball marketing morons who only want money today with no cosideration for tomorrow.

If Bud had a clue he would take the Lerners to the woodshed over this. Baseball can not and will not last here if the local fans are discounted at every turn. It's disgusting.

It's going to be another 3 or 4 years before the DC Phillies look like a contender and Strasberg will only pitch every 5 day, maybe 18 home games. That isn't a lot to bank on. 18 sell outs and 63 near empty houses.

Great job!!! But I ask, when did Bob Short repurchase the Nats?

Posted by: tzj20874 | April 6, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

HA HA PHILADELPHIA! That forgotten city between NY and Washington. I guess if I was a Philly native I too would seek to escape the pervasive aura of inferiority and come hang out in a real city that matters.

Posted by: thedude1974 | April 6, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals will not develop a loyal following as long as the home team fans are squeezed out of the "event games".

The sell out was nice yesterday. Nice for the owners. But look at the message it's sending to the fans:
1)You don't matter, at all ever.
2)Money is money no matter the message

So, we don't matter. Fine. Remember that when there are 5,000 people watching the 12 game against the Marlins. Remember that next opening day when no one even tries to get tickets becuase no one wants to spend a day with tourists.

Worse yet, look at the message it sends to the players:
1) You don't need a home field, we need money so we can still have a low pay roll
2) Free agents, if you really want to stay with your original team, sign with the Nats. When your former team plays here it will be like you never left.

Lerners and friends are about the short term buck. They have no vision. They have no clue. Of all the fans who wanted to go yesterday and couldn't, why would they try again? They were shown what value they have to the team. When the Nats need money, they can skip my wallet and send their requests to the Phillies, Cubs and Pirates.

Oh, by the way, I tried to watch the game yesterday on T.V.. It was sickening to hear nothing but Philly chants all game. During the introductions there was more cheering for the visitors. After one inning I changed the station. Rather watch an old episode of "Bewitched" than try to watch a away game for the home team.

This is just more of the same for a bunch of baseball marketing morons who only want money today with no cosideration for tomorrow.

If Bud had a clue he would take the Lerners to the woodshed over this. Baseball can not and will not last here if the local fans are discounted at every turn. It's disgusting.

It's going to be another 3 or 4 years before the DC Phillies look like a contender and Strasberg will only pitch every 5 day, maybe 18 home games. That isn't a lot to bank on. 18 sell outs and 63 near empty houses.

Great job!!! But I ask, when did Bob Short repurchase the Nats?

Posted by: tzj20874 | April 6, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

HA HA Nats fans! We took over your stadium yesterday. Wonder how your players felt being booed at their home opener. Maybe some day Washington fans will have a drip of passion for their teams to travel to a game. You can't even sell out your own buildings. Good luck with McNaab! Hope your receivers can catch balls thrown at their feet.

Posted by: jpstuhr | April 6, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

HA HA PHILADELPHIA! That forgotten city between NY and Washington. I guess if I was a Philly native I too would seek to escape the pervasive aura of inferiority and come hang out in a real city that matters.

Posted by: thedude1974 | April 6, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

HA HA Nats fans! We took over your stadium yesterday. Wonder how your players felt being booed at their home opener. Maybe some day Washington fans will have a drip of passion for their teams to travel to a game. You can't even sell out your own buildings. Good luck with McNaab! Hope your receivers can catch balls thrown at their feet.

Posted by: jpstuhr | April 6, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

HA HA PHILADELPHIA! That forgotten city between NY and Washington. I guess if I was a Philly native I too would seek to escape the pervasive aura of inferiority and come hang out in a real city that matters.

Posted by: thedude1974 | April 6, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

My standard retort: At least I don't live in Philly.

Posted by: Hokienautic | April 6, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Nats fans-
If you are still seething from the scene yesterday at Nats Park and want some retaliation, and perhaps a sport with a slight change in pace, then join us next weekend in Philly:
http://www.dcunited.com/supporters/philly-invasion

You will be in a section with fans that will vocally support the DC side, and there will be no Philly fans within smelling distance...

Posted by: rademaar | April 6, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Nats fans-
If you are still seething from the scene yesterday at Nats Park and want some retaliation, and perhaps a sport with a slight change in pace, then join us next weekend in Philly:
http://www.dcunited.com/supporters/philly-invasion

You will be in a section with fans that will vocally support the DC side, and there will be no Philly fans within smelling distance...

Posted by: rademaar | April 6, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I left work right when the game came out and the ratio of philly fans to dc fans were like 75 to 1.

it was a funny sight though to see people taking rickshaw rides back b/c they walked three blocks the wrong way to their car.

Posted by: MNMNT | April 6, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Nats fans-
If you are still seething from the scene yesterday at Nats Park and want some retaliation, and perhaps a sport with a slight change in pace, then join us next weekend in Philly:
http://www.dcunited.com/supporters/philly-invasion

You will be in a section with fans that will vocally support the DC side, and there will be no Philly fans within smelling distance...

Posted by: rademaar | April 6, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Dan, you (and Boswell, btw) just don't get it. Putting a team in DC wasn't just about giving DC a home team. It was about bringing baseball to a market where MLB knew it would flourish, in part because of the transient nature of its population. What the Nats brass is doing is no different than what bad NBA teams do when a superstar like Kobe or LeBron comes to town. They know their own product is bad and need to sell seats however they can. So they sell fans on the game itself, not just their own team. Has it not occurred to you that some of poorer teams in the NHL do this when Alex Ovechkin and the Caps come to their cities? I don't doubt that the Nats want to win, but until they get to the point where they have that kind of team, then I see nothing wrong with them trying to draw fans to Nats Park however they can.

Posted by: udoffjets | April 6, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Steinz, please get with Adam Kilgore and investigate why in the world for Opening Day of all games the Nationals would have continued their priority of group tickets over individual sales? Two things are pretty clear:

1) It's easy to strike this policy for a single game, especially a ticket as desirable and important to building a hometown fanbase as Opening Day; and

2) The result was unfathomable. I've been a Nats fan since the day Tony Williams proudly announced the arrival of the team (with Linda Cropp in the background). And I was completely shut out of Opening Day tickets. Why? Because I share a season ticket package and Opening Day went to the person who had the first draft pick. And all the remaining tickets that could've gone to Nats fans went to Philly groups. It truly is despicable. And just wrong. I was at the Caps game last night and paid a lot more for my ticket but it's refreshing to see an ownership group that knows how to build loyalty amongst its fans.

Posted by: jrachlin | April 6, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Bud Selig is well-known as a world class jerk. Guess now I'll have to add Mark Lerner to the list. Baltimore is as close to me as DC and they have a better team.

Posted by: qball43 | April 6, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Nats fans-
If you are still seething from the scene yesterday at Nats Park and want some retaliation, and perhaps a sport with a slight change in pace, then join us next weekend in Philly:
http://www.dcunited.com/supporters/philly-invasion

You will be in a section with fans that will vocally support the DC side, and there will be no Philly fans within smelling distance...

Posted by: rademaar | April 6, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Bud Selig is well-known as a world class jerk. Guess now I'll have to add Mark Lerner to the list. Baltimore is as close to me as DC and they have a better team.

Posted by: qball43 | April 6, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Bud Selig is well-known as a world class jerk. Guess now I'll have to add Mark Lerner to the list. Baltimore is as close to me as DC and they have a better team.

Posted by: qball43 | April 6, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The day I knew Leonsis would be a good owner was the day I found out he tried to keep Pissburgh fans from buying tickets to Caps playoff home games. Kasten and Lerner are idiots. Selling to drunken Philly fans may provide some cash in the short term, but it p.o.es Nats fans incredibly and embarrasses the team. Idiotic.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | April 6, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Bud Selig is well-known as a world class jerk. Guess now I'll have to add Mark Lerner to the list. Baltimore is as close to me as DC and they have a better team. Plus they play New York and Boston, not that low-class bunch of bush leaguers from Philly. They can keep their QB, too.

Posted by: qball43 | April 6, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

HA HA. "A real city that matters" Don't you mean a boring government town full of transplants? Never been a baseball town -- ever.

D.C. has already lost 2 baseball teams and is quickly on its way to losing a third.

----------------------------------

HA HA PHILADELPHIA! That forgotten city between NY and Washington. I guess if I was a Philly native I too would seek to escape the pervasive aura of inferiority and come hang out in a real city that matters.

Posted by: loux24 | April 6, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

The day I knew Leonsis would be a good owner was the day I found out he tried to keep Pissburgh fans from buying tickets to Caps playoff home games. Kasten and Lerner are idiots. Selling to drunken Philly fans may provide some cash in the short term, but it p.o.es Nats fans incredibly and embarrasses the team. Idiotic.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | April 6, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Dan, you (and Boswell, btw) just don't get it. Putting a team in DC wasn't just about giving DC a home team. It was about bringing baseball to a market where MLB knew it would flourish, in part because of the transient nature of its population. What the Nats brass is doing is no different than what bad NBA teams do when a superstar like Kobe or LeBron comes to town. They know their own product is bad and need to sell seats however they can. So they sell fans on the game itself, not just their own team. Has it not occurred to you that some of poorer teams in the NHL do this when Alex Ovechkin and the Caps come to their cities? I don't doubt that the Nats want to win, but until they get to the point where they have that kind of team, then I see nothing wrong with them trying to draw fans to Nats Park however they can.

Posted by: udoffjets | April 6, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Nats fans-
If you are still seething from the scene yesterday at Nats Park and want some retaliation, and perhaps a sport with a slight change in pace, then join us next weekend in Philly:
http://www.dcunited.com/supporters/philly-invasion

You will be in a section with fans that will vocally support the DC side, and there will be no Philly fans within smelling distance...

Posted by: rademaar | April 6, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Dan, you (and Boswell, btw) just don't get it. Putting a team in DC wasn't just about giving DC a home team. It was about bringing baseball to a market where MLB knew it would flourish, in part because of the transient nature of its population. What the Nats brass is doing is no different than what bad NBA teams do when a superstar like Kobe or LeBron comes to town. They know their own product is bad and need to sell seats however they can. So they sell fans on the game itself, not just their own team. Has it not occurred to you that some of poorer teams in the NHL do this when Alex Ovechkin and the Caps come to their cities? I don't doubt that the Nats want to win, but until they get to the point where they have that kind of team, then I see nothing wrong with them trying to draw fans to Nats Park however they can.

Posted by: udoffjets | April 6, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for like 17 posts. The comment software was obviously having some issues...

Posted by: rademaar | April 6, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Please, Dan, talk to the team's management. Ask them why they sold our virtually the entire stadium to Philadelphia before giving Washington fans a chance to buy tickets. I went to the home opener last year and it wasn't anything like this. This is insulting. Nats fans wanted to go, but there were no tickets left. We CAN fill up the stadium on opening day, but Stan "Phillies #1 Fan" Kasten sold out all the tickets to Philly before we had a chance.

Stan Kasten needs to be fired for this debacle.

Posted by: cassander | April 6, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"Our city belongs to all Americans, and we believe our team does, too"

No, no it doesn't. The federal portion of our city belongs to all Americans. That's a very small part indeed. The rest is ours. For a DC native to say that is downright insulting. I cannot imagine that being said about the football team. This statement really shows me that they are only in this for the money, not because they want to run a baseball team. (In it for the money is cool - we all need to eat. In it for ONLY the money is sad.)

Our hometown, our team, our park, and wow was yesterday infuriating.

Posted by: SAF_dc | April 6, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'll say this as a Phils fan, this is not a new occurrence, say what you will about the recent World Series etc., but as an example a few years ago I attended a Phils Pirates game and it was overrun then too and that's a much longer drive. If you get a chance go see a game there it's a terrific ballpark. Anyway it's tough to blame your ownership, they have a bottom line to meet like everyone else. If they can ensure big crowds this way so be it. What does your attendance look like when the big boys aren't in town and you have Nats Reds or something like that? Sell these kinds of games out too and you'll get somewhere. Best of luck Nats fans you'll need it. By the way enjoy watching your receivers try to catch the ball with their feet #5 is great at making easy passes more challenging for his receivers.

Posted by: briancraigray | April 6, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

It was like a casting party for "Jersey Shore"...

Posted by: boricuabopper | April 6, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@ jpstuhr

Go back to Philly and reminisce about all your Super Bowl victories..oh wait...WHOOPS.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | April 6, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks DC. It was a beautiful day in the nation's Capitol, we had a great Opening Day, fantastic batting practice, a nice easy workout for Roy and a nice stroll on Capitol Hill afterwards. Even a brief pint at the Irish Times. Sorry about all the cans we left behind. Maybe you can trade them in for the deposits and use towards the Federal deficit. For the people who call Philly a filthy city, I guess I should remind you that your city is built on a swamp. Niiice.

One last question: since a lot of you don't want to go to the rest of this series cause of all of the Phillies Phans, may I buy your tickets?

Posted by: jay_t1 | April 6, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

For the Nats to break the DC opposing fans curse, they have to do what United and most recently, the Caps have done:

1) Win Titles.
2) Build around a superstar stud, grow a legion of crazy fans, and market to them. Always.

From afar, it's been interesting to watch the Skins former home field advantage at creaky RFK disintegrate under Snyder's ownership. The Steelers Monday nighter two years ago, where more then 25K of the 90K were in black and gold, was something that NEVER happened in the Allen/Gibbs/Cooke era.

Leonsis has brought the Caps, of all teams, the other way! For the first time in more than 20 years, a home game against the Pens is really a home game! Yes, there still are a thousand or so transplants in the arena, but the Red ROCKS now, and the black and gold lay quite a bit lower than in their heady days at Cap Centre.

DC, being a transient sports town, will never have the roots of a Philly, New York, Chicago, or most recently, Pittsburgh, where fandom runs deep and generational.

That said, in this day of free market/free agency/high ticket costs, who knows? Even Philly is invaded by Pens fans, something that was unthinkable in the old Spectrum. Maybe Ted Leonsis' has the right formula: Keep it fun, keep it interesting, make it a cult following, and presto! Fans through thick and thin.

Mr. Lerner, learn from this.

Posted by: wxdancer | April 6, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and insulting Philly football? Really? Two words: Dan Snyder.

Posted by: jay_t1 | April 6, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

It's easy to insult Philly football. You haven't ever won anything. Period. NOTHING. Every other NFC East team has multiple Super Bowls - wouldn't you like a nip at just one little one?

Nobody remembers who loses in the NFC Championship game. Nobody remembers who lost the Super Bowl.

One goal - win it all. The Eagles can't seem to do that. Ever. Sorry.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | April 6, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

The Nats this season did this even though there was a big controversy last year about Kasten going on Philly radio to shill tickets for Nats Park. It is basically a big middle finger to Nats fans. Kasten is proving to be as sleazy as the slimiest used car dealer.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | April 6, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I work near the stadium and I have just one question...Which official (DC or otherwise) pulled the trigger to close down First St., Second St., P St., and S St. so the buses could have somewhere to park? When I got the notice on Friday, I figured the buses were for DC kids or something like that. When I tried to move my car closer to my job after the game, I was greeted by hundreds of Philly fans walking in the streets like it was Mardi Gras. Shame on you Nats officials, MLB and whoever signed off locally to make sure the buses were taken care of and not the people who actually work in this town!!!

Posted by: emckeiver | April 6, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

So it appears that "National's Park" is a gross misnomer. Now accepting nominations for a more appropriate name. Some early entries to consider:

Gypsy Field
Doormat Stadium
Hostel Yards

Posted by: RicketyCricket | April 6, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Blame yourself for the invasion, Nats fans.

NYC is 90 miles away, but you don't see Phils fans flooding Shea Stadium when they play the Mets. And you won't see many in the Bronx later this year during interleague play with the Yanks.

Posted by: loux24 | April 6, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and insulting Philly football? Really? Two words: Dan Snyder.

Posted by: jay_t1 | April 6, 2010 12:44 PM

Three words: Three Super Bowls

All in my lifetime, how bout yoooz?

Posted by: Kev29 | April 6, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Flood his email with complaints

Stan.Kasten@nationals.com

Posted by: JDB1 | April 6, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

It completely sucks that Nat's stadium is loaded with Philly/Met/everyone else's fans, but what choice is there? People on this board are commenting about how ownership is selling out, well how can they afford to put a decent team on the field when no one shows up to games? I go to about 30 games a year and the majority of them are empty. Maybe some of you so called fans can support the team outside of opening day. Do you want the Lerners to buy a bunch of big name talent just out of the kindness of their heart and for the love of DC? That's crazy talk. Fact is they've put a ton of money into this team despite that no one is showing up except other teams fans. Since no one goes to games throughout the season we'll have to deal with these takeovers until we can build winners through draft picks. Then hopefully the winning will bring new Nats fans out.

Posted by: mprhoades | April 6, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday was shameful. Shameful for the owners and Kasten, not Nats fans. Perhaps Stan was right. He will get the attendance he deserves. How about thousands of drunken, foul-mouthed Philly fans invading our ballpark? Unfortunately, it was the lingering loyal Nats fans who bore the brunt of that phiasco. Some of us didn't wait 33 years for this.

Posted by: mojo6 | April 6, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Coming in on Howard Rd, all the Pennsytuckians cutting in front of everyone, all the PA buses emptying the mullet wearing drunks, with children, who then proceed to pee and throw beer cans and bottles from 295 to the stadium. I figured they were all there from Philly to thank Obama for their free healthcare. Start trouble with a guy wearing a Yankees hat while chanting Yankess Suck. Huh? Didnt they beat you? Well we may have lost but at least we didnt have to go home to Philly. A blessing in and of itself.

Posted by: dcmg | April 6, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I think allowing busses to park so close to the stadium was criminal as well. I know of several people who had parking permits at the stadium who couldn't because of the gridlock and time it took to get that close. I also think the Nats ownership will regret discontinuing the Nats Express. Without it, you have that many more cars going to a small concentrated area. Even if they charged $5 a head, it would be worth it to park at RFK.

Posted by: 1of9000 | April 6, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I think allowing busses to park so close to the stadium was criminal as well. I know of several people who had parking permits at the stadium who couldn't because of the gridlock and time it took to get that close. I also think the Nats ownership will regret discontinuing the Nats Express. Without it, you have that many more cars going to a small concentrated area. Even if they charged $5 a head, it would be worth it to park at RFK.

Posted by: 1of9000 | April 6, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

as a district resident (and a former nats fan) who wants tax revenue from the ballpark district, thank you philly fans for your generosity.

Posted by: makplan20002 | April 6, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

It WOULD be nice to have actually won a Super Bowl. I'll give you that. But, then again, aren't those Lombardi's sitting in Dan Snyder's living room? Must be nice having that guy running his grimy hands all over Mr. Cooke's legacy.

Posted by: jay_t1 | April 6, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

mprhoades... duck

Posted by: Kev29 | April 6, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Okay. That was mean.

Posted by: jay_t1 | April 6, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

mprhoades,

A nickle's worth of free advice. Please don't comment on topics you know nothing about.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 6, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Mark Lerner: "We are one Metro stop from the U.S. Capitol..."

Does anyone else get the feeling that Mark doesn't ride the Metro to the ballpark very often? Or maybe he's just not great at counting.

Posted by: ghitza | April 6, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I am a Phillies fan and I got 10 tickets through a pre-sale by signing up for the Washington Nationals news letter on their web sight. If you were really fans of the team you would have already been signed up and received an e-mail for a presale like we did. I'm not trying to be disrespectful but if the people in your city would actually go to the games, there wouldn't be any tickets left for phillies fans. By the way, I hope you guys win the Super Bowl, nothing would make me happier.

Posted by: an1231 | April 6, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA
AHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAA


Looks like Natinal fans can't joke the O's for their attendance when the Sox or Yanks come to town any longer. Atleast there it took Peter Angelos 10+ years to drive away O's fans.

Here, the Natinals can't even get their own stadium sold out on opening day, let alone get a majority of the stadium filled with Natinal fans.

HAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | April 6, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to blame Phils fans from coming to Nats Stadium. The Phillies' games are almost always sold out. Who wants to go to NY to see them play the Mets? It's far, expensive and filled with possibly the worst fans on the planet. Nats Stadium and Camden Yards are far nicer.

I'd wager that Nats fans have a hard time getting tickets in Philly, NY or Atlanta. When the Nats start winning and fans begin to come out consistently, there won't be any more worries about Philly Fan "invasions".

Posted by: Renpech | April 6, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

So section I guess you know the inner workings of ownership? You must be an economist eh? You're right, I'm sure ownership is just hoarding cash. I'm sure the day to day cost of operating the team without any fans is negligible. Yeah right. I contend you don't have to be an economist to know that if people don't come to games then there is no money. The Nat's averaged 22716 +fans a game last year (54% capacity) and that was bumped up due to playing Boston, Cardinals, Mets, and Phillies. All I'm saying is if we want fewer fans of other teams coming to our stadium, Nats fans need to start going to games during the season.

Posted by: mprhoades | April 6, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

So section I guess you know the inner workings of ownership? You must be an economist eh? You're right, I'm sure ownership is just hoarding cash. I'm sure the day to day cost of operating the team without any fans is negligible. Yeah right. I contend you don't have to be an economist to know that if people don't come to games then there is no money. The Nat's averaged 22716 +fans a game last year (54% capacity) and that was bumped up due to playing Boston, Cardinals, Mets, and Phillies. All I'm saying is if we want fewer fans of other teams coming to our stadium, Nats fans need to start going to games during the season.

Posted by: mprhoades | April 6, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

mpr, don't worry about section340203203022.

His tampon is stuck, so that's why he's cranky.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | April 6, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

mprhoades - the Nationals drew incredibly well in a poor stadium with a decent team in their first season...

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/WSN/attend.shtml

2005 - 33,728

The Lerners bought the team and actually lowered the payroll(!) from a team owned by the league. Attendance has sunk despite a new ballpark because the owners and front office have given this market a terrible team to watch.

All the while, they've made a steady profit which is being used to service their own debts from buying the club

http://www.forbes.com/2006/04/17/06mlb_baseball-team-valuations-cx_mo_0420sports.html

Posted by: Kev29 | April 6, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Poopy-O's Exec,

Everybody has the right to be an A-hole but as usual, you’re abusing the privilege.


Posted by: Section505203 | April 6, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

It isnt the fact the Philly fans were there, to me it is the boorish behavior. Imagine acting like did in yesterday rooting for the Skins or Eagles in Philly. They can dish it out but Im sure they cant take it. Chanting vulgarities with children in the stands. I mean really. Its cool to root for your team. I get it. But otherwise totally classless. I mean, you beat the Nationals. Wow. We are impressed.

Posted by: dcmg | April 6, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

mprhoades,

I think Kev29 said it all for me.

However, I will add that for the first 5 years that the Nats have been in this town I was a 4 seat 20 game plan holder, that is, until this year. I've grown tired of the same old crap from the cheapass Lerner's and the used car salesman bit from StanK. I figured if the Lerner's won't spend the money for players why the hell should I spend my hard earned cash.

Bottom 5 payrolls every year and going with cheap signability picks in the draft is crap in a Top 8 market.

They need to put up the cash or sell and get out.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 6, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I completely agree with dcmg. And a friend--a Phillies fan no less--was appalled by the behavior. What has happened is that Philadelphia have not learned how to become gracious winners. Do Nats fans need to have "NATS S**K!" at them at the concession stands? How about the strutting and preening before the game even started? And don't even get me started on the complete lack of baseball etiquette. Look--as a season ticket holder from the very beginning, I recognize that the Phillies are very good and we're rebuilding/starting over/better than last year. But the Phillies--not too long ago--were the exact same way. In fact, for about 80 years, right? So stop the childish behavior and act like the champions you're supposed to be.

Posted by: zonkerscm | April 6, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

2 years ago I was a season ticket holder.
Last year went to a miserable opening day.
This year I paid $100 for a ticket so I could sit among the cheap tickets Kasten gave away to the worst people on earth.
This team has failed. Move it now! Crappy ballpark, crappy ownership, crappy team. Maybe next time I'll root for the Phillies.

Posted by: bflorhodes | April 6, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Now who doesn't know what you're talking about section? Was Zimmerman a signability pick? How about Strasburg? How about Crow, who we couldn't sign that's how easy signability he was. They offered a hefty sum for Tex also. I suppose you rather we had the NY Yankees south and just buy championships every year. What about the fact that teams that have those kind of payrolls have been around for over the 5 years the Nat's have. And to claim DC is a top 8 market is Bologna also. That's some arbitrary number statisticians come up with. If no one is willing to pay $1 for something than it's not worth a $1 regardless of what a statistician tells you it's worth.

And clinging to attendance in the first couple years that baseball was in DC is ridiculous. I was going to 30 games a year during those seasons also and they were still bringing in a ton fans from other teams and those figures were mostly bumped up by the beginning of the season figures because by the end of those seasons the stadium was less than half full.

The team needs to continue to build through the draft, make smart free-agent moves, get back to respectability, start drawing fans and then maybe they can become the Yankess south that you want where they go out and try to purchase a championship every year. That can't happen over night or even in 5 years.

Posted by: mprhoades | April 6, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Who on earth is talking about the Yankees?? The Nationals have the 24th "highest" payroll in baseball. I'd be happy to see them spend as much as the 17th placed Orioles. We're begging for this team to spend AVERAGE, not Steinbrenner money.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 6, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Crow was not signed because of less than 500k.

Zimmerman signed quick and relatively cheap.

Storen was drafted higher than projected and signed cheap.

Trevor Holder was drafted at least 4 rounds higher than projected because he was a signability pick.

They drafted Detwiller over Porcello because he was far cheaper and signed quick.

Strasburg had to be signed or they would have been even more of laughingstock than they already are and they still almost F'd that up as he signed with less than a minute to spare.

They were out bid by the the flippin' Reds for Chapman.

The plan was to build through the draft and international signings. They haven't done that. They just this past offseason added more scouts and FO people that was supposedly done 3 years ago.

Do I need to go on?

Outside of Norris and Strasburg and maybe Storen do they have in the minors that will make an impact?

The Plan was a sham.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 6, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Wah wah wah wah. The Phillies fans outnumbered us. Yeah, we did, so what. We bought group tickets, just like your fans could have done. But you didn't and we took them. Maybe, it's because there is a demand for them here because the team is good, and we are winners. You all are more than welcome, oh wait, since we win we sell out all of our ball games.

Let's be honest, all you people saying " I would have bought tickets", I doubt it. To be honest, is only 10% of the stadium had been Phillies fans, half the stadium would have been empty.

Go ahead, hate on us because our fans are loyal and we will travel. Forget about the millions of dollars worth of revenue our fans are bringing to the city, especially Phillies fans like me who make mini-vacations out of the deal. I alone spend over $1000 every time I come to see the Phillies play.

Stop hating.

Posted by: jrrixon | April 6, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

That's the whole point I've been making. The Nat's drew the 24th ranked attendance but you want them to spend 17th money? And like you said they're still paying for the purchase of the team. You have to give them a chance to put it all together. Now if Nat's fans were packing the stadium all season long I would bet that our payroll would go up. Attendance and Payroll are directly correlated.

Posted by: mprhoades | April 6, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

We'll have to agree to disagree then. If you think that Zim is a bad pick (I you'd rather have signed Gordan or Clement because they cost more), or that Storen was picked only because he was cheap and not talent then you don't know baseball and it's not worth the discussion. I suppose you would rather they make some debilitating signings a la the Rangers when they signed ARod, and cripple the franchise. I'd rather they make smart picks based on talent and value and build for the future. So that's it, just different POV.

Posted by: mprhoades | April 6, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

You've got the cart before the horse mprhodes. The team has to be worth watching for people to show up. Do you really think there are 30,000 masochists in every town willing to pack stadiums for 103 loss teams? Sh*t, even the Cubs try to put decent rosters together for their long suffering fans.

Way to blame the people who pay (or not) to watch abject failure. But that's typical in our country, give billionaires a break. It must be the average joe's fault!

Posted by: Kev29 | April 6, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Why not go because you like baseball, it's nice outside, they have free parking, you support DC sports so we have teams to go see with your family?

You rather ownership just shell out a bunch of cash they're not bringing back in just because they're net worth is more than you? Sports is the entertainment business, not charity. If you want charity (more than $5 day of game tickets and free parking) then go talk to your government, they've got handouts for you.

Posted by: mprhoades | April 6, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

this team isn't going anywhere with the current ownership, look how Tampa Bay was a joke under Naimoli, but then Sternberg bought the team and brought in Andrew Friedman and turned things around

Unfortunately, Vince Naimoli, heck even Peter Angelos, looks like Branch Rickey compared to Mini Me Lerner, his thrifty dad, and the snake oil salesman fronting them

Posted by: TGT11 | April 6, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

You think the ownership is not bringing back in money on this Titanic?

Wake up. According to Forbes they made almost $50 mil last year off that 103 loss team.

You're a Kool Aid drinker, I get it but, don't blame this on the real fans who go to the games or watch on TV every night and bleed every loss. And after 205 losses the last 2 years that is a lot of bleeding.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 6, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

zonkerscm, I suspect that most Phillies fans- me included- are disgusted at boorish behavior of fellow fans. Friends of mine who are Mets fans are disgusted at boorish behavior of some of their fellow fans who travel to CBP. Too many people seem to have forgotten (never learned?) how to act at a public event.

Posted by: docisin | April 6, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

24th ranked attendance, 24th ranked payroll.
I'm not saying they're not making any money but they're not making the type of money that the teams that have the ability to buy championships do. 50 mil is nothing in sports, and they're set to have to spend big with the number one pick in the draft again. Especially if they go after Boras client, Bryce Harper. So do you suggest they don't attempt to make a profit at all for the benefit of Washington DC and the fans.

Posted by: mprhoades | April 6, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Thank you DC for letting us drink your beer, take over your streets and beat the snot out of your baseball team. The reason MLB put a team there was to give the Philly and New York fans a team to beat up on. Your fans are wimps and look scared outta their wits in their own ballpark. As far as your football team, you live off old championships like Cowboy fans and you try to belittle Eagles fans cause we haven't one a Super Bowl. For 11 years we tried and couldn't do it. But now that problem is in DC. Think your gonna win one? Trust me, between Snyder and McNabb we're feeling pretty good right now.

Posted by: jpstuhr | April 6, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Let's be honest, if Phillies fans didn't buy these seats they would have been empty.

When your team stinks you sell the tickets to other fans. The same thing happens at Nats/Mets games. The solution isnt to cry about it, the solution is to put out a better product for the front running locals. Compare the Caps attendance pre-Oveechkin to now, world of difference.

Posted by: snakeplizkn | April 6, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

@ dcmg-All of your comments and opinions of the Phillies and our fans are highly amusing and partially inaccurate. I am a former resident of the DC Metro area and attended the game yesterday in one of the busloads from Philly. My group, The Green Legion, was not one of those buses full of "Pennsyltuckians" and/or "mullets". We were on deluxe motorcoaches and no one was "throwing beer bottles out the window" or "peeing" on Howard Ave. Matter of fact, we all have jobs and are hard working young and old professionals. To insinuate that we're happy that Obama is giving us "free healthcare" is an insult. I actually work for a hospital in Philly and have had health insurance my entire professional career. So don't assume we're all Section 8 residents on welfare. Also, the reason we yell "Yankees Suck" is because we've established a rivalry with them not because we lost the World Series to them. Orioles and Red Sox fans yell that too genius. In fact, I have several Oriole backing friends in Baltimore who have "Yankees Suck" signs on their homes. The bottom line is you can't handle a passionate fan base that likes to travel and root for their team, win or lose. We travel all over the country for Phillies, Eagles, Flyers games etc. Funny, I don't see Nats or Redskin fans traveling in groups up to our stadiums. Admit it, you're afraid to enter CBP or the Linc and well, both of your teams have been putting out a pathetic product the past few years. Even if our teams are having losing seasons, we travel because we are dedicated fans. Just because your team doesn't know how to market itself to local residents and you have a bunch of fair weather fans down there, don't take it out on us. We all know your jealous of teams like the Phightin' Phils. You might as well thank us for stimulating your local economy yesterday. Judging from your comments, I'm going to make some assumptions like you're from Northern Virginia. McLean is too high class for you so I'm thinking you're from Manassas?! Enjoy the Beltway backups down there, your new QB-Mr. Wannabe John Elway and his BS press conferences and another Nats 100 loss season buddy.

Posted by: Jnineslp | April 6, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

The more expensive the seats, the better behaved the fans, be they Red Sox, Philly or Mets fans. Even -- though it pains me to write this -- Yankees fans. Regardless of their team colors, their money is all green.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | April 6, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

First:

As a Phillies fan one of the only ways to get tickets to most games is using stubhub. I imagine many of the Phillies fans down there got their tickets through this method. In fact there are still Phillies HOME opener tickets available on stub hub as I speak. These tickets are surely sold out at the ticket office.

Second:

The Nats franchise is very new and doesn't have a championship. Once the franchise has a pennant and a couple winning seasons under its belt the fan ratio will improve. From watching the massive crowds at spring training the huge amount of Phillies fans at the away opener was going to happen. The fact that the Nats aren't mega popular just made it easier.

Third:

The online trash talk about cities is just immature guys, like seriously. =-p

Posted by: AreWeThereYet | April 6, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

What's especially infuriating is that it contributes to the self-sustaining myth that Washington isn't a baseball town and its people won't support a team.

But the reality was that the team sold out its fans and never gave them a chance to buy tickets. Almost unbelievable. I've been a baseball fan for 50 years and griping about owners is part of the territory, but this is really unbelievable. I can't remember anything quite like it.

If the Nationals spent the time and effort they devoted to selling tickets in Philly to cultivating a local fan base, they'd be a lot better off, even if it meant a few empty seats on Monday.

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 7, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Has it been forgotten that last season Kasten went on the radio in Philly to "remind" the listeners how close DC was and that they could easily find tickets? Also, as far as supporting your own team is concerned, it is well known that the Nats have the lowest TV viewership in the game...

Posted by: cvogt1 | April 7, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

It occurred to me that when Mark Lerner says the Nats are a trust, he means a something set up by his daddy that gives him money.

Posted by: markfromark | April 7, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

this comment from Lerner's interview is choice:

"and absolutely the finest sports venue to see the Capitol lights at night. "

Yeah, if you're in one of the few seats that still has a view of the Capitol.

After spending $600M+ on the place, the government in DC couldn't get out of their own way and allowed a building to be built blocking the view from the majority of seats on the first base side of the stadium.

So, Mr. Lerner, actually not so much.

As for all the Phillies Phans - what is the surprise? DC had no team for 33 years, the new team has not done much to build back fan support, and the local media can hardly spare a second away from worshiping at the burgundy & gold altar. The Phillies are in the midst of a run of the best teams they have *ever* had (think about that for a second), and it's an easy trip.

Go Nats

Posted by: CDRHoek | April 7, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Opening day is an "event". And for a team coming off back to back 100 loss seasons, it's a big deal. It's the only time Nats fans are going to feel overwhelming joy and HOPE.

Not only did the Nats seem unfazed as an orginization to give away the event to Philly and to turn off their own fans, they INVITED IT. They marketed the Nats to Philly better than they did here.

If Kasten and the Learners really didn't think that Nats fans would sell out opening day, they are in the wrong business and may, in fact, just be to darn stupid to tie their own shoes.

The Nats need event days to drive season long attendance. When the Marlins come to D.C. for their 17th match up of the year who do you think is going to buy tickets? Surely not the Phiily fans Kasten and the Learners crave on opening day. They are going to count on the Nats fans who were turned away on opening day.

Short sighted morons.

As far as the Nats having low TV viewership, can that be a surprise? I couldn't get tickets to Monday's game, but was so turned off by the booing of the Nat's players during introductions I just changed the channel and watched an old episode of "Bewitched". I rather watch something stupid than something hateful. Opening day, thanks to the marketing chocies of the Nats was hateful.

And what a great message to current and future players. "Come to D.C. - 162 road games a year".

Kasten,Learners, I ask, honestly, are you really as STUPID as you have come off since you have arrived in Washington?

The last two years you have given away home field on opening day and in so doing you have turned off a lot of fans. GREAT JOB. 33 years of without baseball is finally interupted by 5 years of stupid.

When did Bob Short buy back the Nats?

Posted by: tzj20874 | April 7, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

It's easy to insult Philly football. You haven't ever won anything. Period. NOTHING. Every other NFC East team has multiple Super Bowls - wouldn't you like a nip at just one little one?

Hey Clipboard - I think they played football before 1967. Yes- it has been along time but the Eagles have won three NFL championships.By your way of thinking those twenty-something World Series the Yankees won before 1967 don't count.

Posted by: danielwin | April 7, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Best of the day was when they put the group names on the Jumbo Tron and one group was named "Halladay's Inn" Great Job DC!

Posted by: jpstuhr | April 7, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Embarrassing and humiliated ......

Learners and Kasten are a disgrace to this organization. Opening day and we have busloads of " INVITED" Phillies fans?

...then the dumbo from 1600 Penn Ave turns out wearing a Chi Sox hat. What a flipp'n blow to this franchise.

Dude can't figure out whether he is muslim or American .... but we all know.

No more invitations to the muslim rep from 1600 Penn. He is a disgrace to this country!

Who ever set this mess up should be fired for what they did to the remaining faithful fan base in Washington.

Posted by: Natnut | April 7, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Jnineslp- I saw what I saw. Sat on Howard in traffic long enough to see it all. I guess the empty beer containers on every railing on the South Cap St Bridge and the people standing face forward in front of the buildings and fences are a mirage from the heat. We may suck, but public decency isnt in your dictionary. The behavior of your fans in our section anyway was an insult. I guess thats why we dont have jails in our stadiums. Like I said its cool to come and root for your team, I wouldnt expect less. I guess being a boor makes you all feel tough though. Woo Hoo!

Posted by: dcmg | April 7, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

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