Scoreboard Follies

Brooke Family

The huge and bright new scoreboard ranks as one of the major attractions at Nationals Park. The graphics, color and contrast add to the game experience. It's definitely an upgrade from RFK's dated and distant scoreboard. Sadly, as previously reported, the operator(s) do not appear to have been part of the upgrade.

Over the last few games, we've seen the pitch counts for the starting pitchers continue to ring up despite the fact that relievers were on the mound. Information on hitters sometimes shows up well into an at bat.

Also, for those of us who cannot seem to keep a wristwatch, it would be nice if the brand new "Curly W" clock worked. According to this massive timepiece, Saturday afternoon's game started at 6:30 PM. The rain delay was rather long, but not quite THAT long.

Finally, the in-game weather report and trivia question featuring Sue Palka could be improved. The question one night was "How many teams have worn the letter C on their caps." We were given the answer in terms of the number of teams, but the actual teams were not listed. I'm thinking both Chicago teams, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Colorado. Who else? On Friday, the question was "What's the record for the most shutouts by one pitcher against one team in one season?" The answer turned out to be 6. But who was the pitcher? We weren't told. And if we were, the scoreboard would probably have his pitch count wrong.

By Brooke Family  |  April 15, 2008; 10:19 AM ET  | Category:  Brooke Family , Scoreboard
Previous: Fun at the Batting Cages | Next: Mr. Grumpy Redux


Please email us to report offensive comments.

I am DELIGHTED that someone is paying attention to this, and I hope someone from the Nationals is reading this blog.

They have this fantastic piece of technology at their disposal and it is being utterly wasted on graphics that are static and uninformative. Aside from the operator errors that include delays in putting up the count and other relevant stats, they simlpy are not using the screen the way it should be. A few suggestions:

2. Show highlights from around MLB of THAT DAY'S GAMES. They have access to the video, cause it's all on Why not show it? Relying just on an out-of-town scoreboard is ARCHAIC.
3. Show highlights from the previous day's games.
4. Show baseball-themed material before the game.
5. Show the occasional non-baseball highlight when circumstances warrant it (and assuming they are legally permitted to do so), such as playoff highlights from the Caps and Wizards. This will NOT detract from the Nationals and it will help give the impression that the Nats want to be part of the larger fabric of the city.
6. Show less Clint. MUCH LESS Clint.

Right now, that video board is just a giant waste of money, and of an opportunity.

Posted by: Meridian | April 15, 2008 12:29 PM

I tried sending an email to the Nationals about the scoreboard operator, but the website told me the page no longer existed and never sent my comments. Then I tried calling Customer Service, left someone a voicemail, and haven't heard back. I looked up at the press box during last Monday's game against Florida, and they all had the NCAA tournament on. It's a disgrace.

Posted by: Chris | April 15, 2008 1:14 PM

I've noticed on three separate occassions the inning being shown on the big scoreboard as something different on the ribbon boards. I guess they sometimes forget to change the inning on the ribbon boards. Come on! That's pretty basic. And I second the previous comment about Clint. Why, oh why?

Posted by: FloppyHat | April 15, 2008 1:25 PM

My favorite (so far) with the scoreboard has been the instant feedback for pitchers - the ERA changes with the result from each at bat. I forget the details, but on Saturday someone gave up a home run and the ERA shot up to over 11. With the next out the ERA went down a bit.

I doubt that the pitchers are watching that, but it does make scoreboard watching more interesting. Obviously as the season winds on there will be less movement per at-bat.

All teams seem to have silly activities related to the Scoreboard. At Yankee Stadium it is the "Number Stumper" (e.g., Yogi Berra's number plus Lou Gehrig's number minus Derek Jeter's number equals?)

Posted by: TRF | April 15, 2008 3:34 PM

Kudos to the first poster above. All six suggestions are very good. Please... more replays and more highlights!!!

Posted by: Section 314 Row H | April 15, 2008 3:44 PM

The twinkies have a C on their cap for "Twin Cities," although that's a TC not just the single letter.

Posted by: DudeAbides | April 15, 2008 5:40 PM

I thought of TC as well as KC too. I wasn't sure if it was a trick question.. and the whole thing blew by quite quickly.

Posted by: Tom Brooke | April 16, 2008 9:09 AM

The scoreboard is hardly utilized in the right way. For one thing, it would be nice to be able to see the live feed from the game. Particularly from seats in the outfield, it is hard to really see the pitch, having each play shown on the scoreboard would help. Even the scoreboard at FedEx shows every play. I also agree with the other posters above, there are little to no replays and no clips shown from that day's games around the MLB, particularly division games. It seems like a huge waste of the HD scoreboard to have a static picture of the batter and his stats during his entire at bat. There was no need to upgrade to an HD screen if all they were planning to show were pictures of the players.

Posted by: CCH | April 26, 2008 7:45 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company