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Farewell, RFK

It's in the books. RFK Stadium is done as a baseball facility. (And those of you who were here on that night in 1971 - maybe even some of you who tore up the field and helped cause the forfeit - never thought you'd be saying that again 36 years later.)

The crowd today: 40,519, the largest of the year, a hair better than the 40,389 for the season opener. Chants of "Ted-dy! Ted-dy!" and "Wil-y Mo! Wil-y Mo!" when Pena made a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth. Lots of folks seem to have left for the 'Skins game, but a huge throng remained at the end.

Some lasts from out here:

· Last hit: Philadelphia's Aaron Rowand, who singled in the ninth
· Last Nationals' hit: Wily Mo Pena, a single to center in the eighth
· Last run: Philadelphia's Chase Utley
· Last Nationals' run: Austin Kearns
· Last RBI: Philadelphia's Aaron Rowand, driving in Utley with a single in the ninth
· Last Nationals' RBI: Brian Schneider, driving in Kearns with a sacrifice fly in the eighth
· Last home run: Philadelphia's Chase Utley on Saturday night off Tim Redding
· Last Nationals' home run: D'Angelo Jimenez on Sept. 17 against the Mets' Joe Smith
· Last win: Reliever Luis Ayala, who gave up an unearned run in the top of the sixth, but benefitted when the Nationals took the lead with two in the bottom of the inning - one on a bases-loaded walk, the other on a bases-loaded hit batsman
· Last save: Who else but Chad Cordero? And in what other fashion than allowing a leadoff double to Utley and a one-out walk to Ryan Howard, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Aaron Rowand, who hit an RBI single. But he then struck out Wes Helms for the second out, then pumped a 91-mph fastball past Jayson Werth for - you got it - the final strikeout at RFK.

They're now going through the final handshake at midfield. A nice way to end the season at home, and a nice way to close a ballpark. Lots of folks still on hand here, and the team is gathering near the home dugout.

I'll get you a bit more after I'm done filing. The postgame ceremony is about to commence. And I'd be interested in thoughts from anyone who was out here today.

By Barry Svrluga  |  September 23, 2007; 3:41 PM ET
 
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Next: Position by Position: The Bullpen

Comments

Do you hear it? Know what that is? It's the sound of thousands of Philly fans shutting the ph--- up. What lovely music to my ears.

Posted by: joebleux | September 23, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Loved the "SHORT *STILL* STINKS" banner....

Posted by: aces | September 23, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Great finish today, although Cardiac Cordero nearly struck again.

Coverage is lacking, I think you need to change your moniker to Coverage is downright embarassing, or Coverage is patently ridiculous. Not only is the Post not covering the story, they seem to be going out of their way to dis the Nats. I've been taking Barry's side vs. Stan, but I am now taking Stan vs. the Post overall. The past few days were entirely bogus (including today's salute to RFK, which boiled down to "now somebody else has the worst park in baseball" -- not a proper sendoff at all).

I missed the NJ tailgate, my party today included five girls under 6 and things became unwieldy. Hope everyone had fun!


Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 23, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Also, Barry, since you asked:

I thought the crowd was great (we kept the Philly fans quiet except for one brief moment, at least in the upper deck behind home plate). There were a lot of people there, and I was surprised at how many of them seemed like knowledgeable baseball folks as opposed to random people showing up for the last game at RFK. Lots of Nats gear (and some Senators gear, for that matter).

Having the Senators on the field pregame was a nice touch, although the sound system as always left much to be desired. I also liked the periodic "Memories of RFK" video on the minitron.

One thing I won't miss is the inability to find anyplace in the stadium where I could show my six-year old daughter the score; too many numbers, too far away.

Overall, though, a fitting sendoff authored by this team -- a starting lineup featuring players from A-ball, various castoffs and non-regulars, playing tough ball against a contender, getting the crowd into it by adding late insurance runs at the right time, and then taking one last punch before walking off the field victorious.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 23, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Was great to be there with a (nearly) full house--clapping on all the two-strike counts, booing down the obnoxious Phillies Phans, huge cheers for all our good plays. Here's hoping next year we keep getting big turn-outs like that.

What was the deal with all the fireworks? Had they bought too many and needed to use them up? Even so, that's no excuse for shooting them off after Ryan Church hit into an inning-ending double-play.

Overall, a great time and a great send-off.

Posted by: hb | September 23, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Best game of the year for me. Thanks for the tee shirts. Teddy MIA at the New Ballpark was funny. Comments from Manny about us fans was very flattering and much appreciated. I saw Stan walking around and said hi! I saw Johnny Holliday and Ray Knight and said hi -- also asked Johnny about my Terps imploding yesterday. Why are they terminating Bob Carpenter?

Posted by: 6th and D | September 23, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game today and thoroughly enjoyed it.

For me the highlight was watching Zimmerman walk out during the intro with Frank Howard. It looked to me like Frank was talking quite a bit, and had alot to share with Zim.

Posted by: Cabraman | September 23, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Ah, what a great day for a Curly W and farewell, RFK! See you for some DC United soon, but it just won't be the same.

Thanks again to Hendo, Natsfan1a, Wigi, JennX and anyone else I missed, for the NatsJournal get together! Fun to put some faces to names!

Barry! Thanks for coming by to say hello before the game! I'm sure you're glad there were no (too) dangerous crazies (at least on first impressions!) at Lot 8 today.

I too enjoyed the *SHORT * STILL * SUCKS banners unfurled in CF. Very original and well conducted! I liked the way DJ played, and wonder if his inclusion instead of FLop meant anything about FLop's DC future. It was nice to see JMax and Flores in the lineup, even though neither of them played well. RF with a big hit for Chief Insurance.

Thanks all! Good thing I brought sunscreen!
- gm

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | September 23, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Bob L.,

Thanks for your comment of support. For now, I am going to keep my moniker as is, though I agree with you that downright embarrassing and patently ridiculous are both apt at this point. I am going to keep "lacking," however, because I think it illustrates an important point. For too long, the Post--including Barry--though that complaints about coverage were focused on the coverage the paper gave to the O's vis-a-vis the Nats. But for me at least, it was never about that. It was about the fact that the paper's coverage of the Nats was simply lacking, irrespective of any coverage given the O's.

I would encourage anyone who is fed up with the Post's coverage to post their views on this blog, and also to send letters to the Post's Ombudsman, as well as the Editor. Clearly, the powers-that-be within the sports department itself don't care.

Below is a post I wrote for one of the previous entries, before I headed out to today's game (a glorious day that, one can only hope, will garner proper attention from the Post). I think it bears repeating:

* * *

For comparison's sake to the Philadelphia Inquirer article that Mr. Saslow was somehow able to slip into the WASHINGTON Post's sports pages, here is a link to the Tampa Tribune's article about last night's Rays-Red Sox game: http://www2.tbo.com/content/2007/sep/23/sp-late-homers-lift-boston/

The difference between that article--also recounting a game between the home (losing) team and a playoff bound visiting team--and Mr. Saslow's article is stark.

Here is the first line of the Tampa article: "The Devil Rays took their best shot at keeping the Red Sox from locking up a playoff spot for one more day, but Boston's counterpunch was bigger and better." And here, by contrast is the first line of Mr. Saslow's article: "Charlie Manuel pressed his chest against the railing of the visitor's dugout at RFK Stadium last night to watch the latest in a long string of what he calls "gotta have 'em" games."

Now, here's the wrap-up of the Tampa article:

"But once again - just like in four consecutive games on the just-completed road trip - a late edge wasn't sufficient for the Rays. 'Our guys played with a lot of heart today - we did,' said Rays manager Joe Maddon. 'But we've got to get to the point where these games mean more to us than the other team, and then you'll see us doing just what they did to us tonight.'"

And, of course, here is Mr. Saslow's Philly-centric wrap: "This team has what it takes to get it done, but we're not there yet," Manuel said. "We're going to fight, and it's going to be close. That much we know."

This nonsense speaks for itself. If the Post keeps it up, maybe Stan will just stop returning Barry's calls and inviting him to his monthly chats altogether

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | September 23, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Amazing day. One more Chad & the Cardiologist ending.

Crowd was great...and knowledgeable.

Guess: Since Carpenter was "non-tendered" well before the season ended, we probably should assume that the Nats have someone else signed. Mike Patrick??? We can only hope.

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 23, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to all for coming out to the tailgate, and to Barry for stopping by. (Thanks too to Natsfly for taking the tailgate sign home. No way would it have fit in my car -- which I must leave at the airport this week -- with the top up.)

Visiting firefighter award goes to Wigi, whom we thank for the delicious salmon; runner-up to SC Nats Fan. Honorable mention goes to the poster whose name I've forgotten who just got back from South Africa. (Memo to self for next time: Name tags and Sharpies.)

If the District answers my prayer and continues to operate the RFK lots as a tailgating venue after Nats Park opens, we will surely be getting together for more such events. So if you couldn't make it this morning, come join us next time. Watch this space for details -- and special thanks to Barry and the Post for letting us have this space.

Posted by: Hendo | September 23, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

ShawNatsFan: It's SHORT STILL STINKS, not SUCKS - an homage to the SHORT STINKS banners that were unfurled at the final Senators game in 1971. It was a kinder and gentler time back then. The only thing one would admit to sucking was a lollipop.

And sunscreen? Yeah, it's great - except for the spots you miss when applying it. I'm paying the price for that now. 419 (where I sat for my 20-game plan) was in the shade. 428 (where I sat today) wasn't. D'oh!

hb: I think the fireworks guy was faked out by a runner crossing the plate before the double play was completed. Obviously he did not realize that it's not a run if the last out was a force out. Either that or Bob Carpenter was manning the fireworks button and he just anticipated the call, as he has been doing on TV all season. Maybe that's part of the reason his contract wasn't renewed.

Sorry I did not make it out to the tailgate to say hello to y'all. I'm a Metro-arriving guy, and not a morning person, so the chances of me figuring out where Lot 8 is and actually making it there this morning were pretty slim. Maybe if y'all have a post-game soiree after Opening Day next year I could come by then.

Posted by: Section 419 | September 23, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

419, you were sitting somewhere above me. I was the guy in the first row of 428 in the Nats jersey with the t-shirt over his head (I, too, forgot sunscreen), giving helpful advice to the Phillies' battery as to the location and meaning of signs.

Post-game in 2008, hmm? It's a definite thought.

Posted by: Hendo | September 23, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Another pleasant game memory, and good organization for shouting down obnoxious Philly and Mets fans next year, was the group in about section 406 that started chanting Nats' players names early in the game, and only stopped when they got a wave from the player - best was Austin Kearns, who did a sort of point/wave thing up to the section. Anyway, this group is as organized as anything, and I no longer have any concerns about not being able to out-shout loudmouth visitors. (The shouts were finally not heard, or else ignored, by Pat Morales and Jesus Flores, which was also fine.)

I also like DC Washington's renditions of the Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America.

Posted by: Traveler | September 23, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

So sorry I missed everybody! My Cubs-fan girlfriend and I arrived at 11:25 and I was worried about being able to get in, get a tee-shirt, get a score-card, and get to my seat. Boy was I right! I barely made it before first pitch. Next time. Maybe when we kill the Philly's hopes next weekend. We could meet at Tune Inn, or something.

A few gripes about today, but in honor of a great win on the last day of RFK I'm going to hold off on it until tomorrow. Today is all for the good things! Go Nats!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 23, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree on the DC Washington comment. He did the anthem and God Bless America exactly right. Well sung, with pace. Too many singers at the Nats games sing those songs so slowly that they take all of the life and rhythm out of them.

On the Teddy Roosevelt thing, I knew that they were going to milk that until they sucked all of the humor out of it. They have officially succeeded.

Good lively crowd today was nice.

Posted by: John O. | September 23, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I, too, enjoyed the tailgate and putting faces to monikers. Thanks for stopping by, Barry. My only regret is that I didn't bring along my copy of Nationals Pastime for signing. Maybe next time. Oh, and that I didn't get to meet Sect. 506 and his Cubs-loving GF. I had my Friday sports section (featuring his post of the day) all ready for autographing and everything. Maybe next time.

I missed the Short Still Stinks sign somehow. My section, 446, did their part as far as shouting down Phillies fans (though it wasn't too much of an issue as the team fell behind and their fans began to head for the exits like lemmings). Way to go, Nats fans, on protecting the house! Way to go, Nats, on sending the fans home with a W (and helping to shut up all of those Phillies fans).

I was also touched by the pregame appearances of the former players and by Acta's words after the game. The fireworks faked me out a few times, too.

On the race, I somehow missed that he'd gone to the new stadium. But now that I know, I have a sense of closure on that front. Thanks for that, too, Barry.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 23, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

It was great to meet you guys at the tailgate. What a nice bunch of people. And Hendo, sorry for leaving you with all that food and hope we didn't do any damage to your paint job. What did you do with all the leftovers? Wigi's salmon was awesome, as was Natsfly's crab dip. I loved SC Nats Fan's T-shirt. Did you actually come all the way from SC? I forgot to ask. Shaw Nats Fan, where did you end up sitting? Nice to see you too Juan-John. Nats fan in Annandale: did you win a shirt-of-their back? I thought I saw you on the field after the game. 506 and RHCFG (red-headed cubs fan girlfriend), sorry we missed you.

Thanks to JennX, natsfan1a, Hendo, etc. who actually organized it. That was really nice. And especially thanks to Barry for stopping by. That made my day.

And oh yea, the baseball was okay today too. ;)

The finality of this season and RFK games hasn't sunk in yet. I foresee a cloud of depression setting in sometime soon. Sigh...

Posted by: NatsNut | September 23, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

After the game, my kids said that they saw Bob Carpenter and we went over to meet him. He could not have been more gracious. He has covered teams with bigger payrolls but not bigger hearts. What a gentleman! He loves the team, DC, had hoped that this was his home, and has at least one kid in college. I could not tell that he had been fired. What a sweet opportunity for the family to thank Bob for the last two years of wonderful play-by-play.

Posted by: flynnie | September 23, 2007 8:34 PM | Report abuse

They won!

My streak has been (mercifully) ended, though not without some ninth inning cause for concern.

The opening ceremonies with the Senators players was fantastic. The only reason I commute twice a year 4000 miles to watch the Nats is because I feel in love with the Senators as a kid. As a kid, I was aware of how my life changed when the Senators left... I stopped playing baseball, and found other interests... There was no point in asking my parents to take me to an Orioles game (something they did reluctantly when the Senators were here... adding 40 miles made it an impossibility). Seeing my childhood heroes again was just amazing for me... It was great on opening day 2005, and it was great today.

I also noticed that the fans were chanting players names (I was a section or two away, and our section got into it too), and it was great to have the players acknowledge us... and I think this shows a certain difference between Nats fans and Phillies fans (and Mets fans, and...)... The Nats fans were all about supporting their team, and not about taunting the Phillies fans. We're a class act... and the players knew it today.

I addressed the tailgate in a previous thread... it was wonderful meeting everyone there...

Some of you might be aware that I had been corresponding with Stan Kasten about a number of topics over the past few months, and he had mentioned to me that if I came to town to let him know, and he'd come by and say hello. I emailed him my seat location last night at midnight, and in the 4th inning he showed up... I thought that was very cool... but not nearly as cool as what happened while he was there. I was at the end of the row, and Stan sat on the steps and chatted for a minute... and the guy one row back and on the other side (wearing a Phillies jersey) taps Stan on his shoulder, and asks him if he can see his World Series ring. Stan took it off and handed it to the guy... and said, "Sure... even though you're a Phillies fan..." My experience with Stan says a lot about the organization. I may be a rabid fan, but it would be hard to say that I am in the key demographic group... and even moreso for the Philly guy... But Stan took time out on a big and very busy day for him... and made sure that his customers felt like they mattered... and he's the President of the organization. If he believes it, his people will believe it, and I think it is safe to say that he's going to do everything he can to make sure that we all fall in love with the Nats all over again. I know this sounds like I am gushing, but I really believe he did more than the right thing there... above and beyond.

I loved that people chanted "We Want Teddy..." though they were doing it while the Nats were at bat... Rushmores: Marketing success.

The after-game ceremonies were good... The players were great, I enjoyed Sutton's interviews, mostly. Zipwires are cool, but better when you're on it than watching it. Screech in a zipwire, ummm... *yawn*. Screech bungie jumping off the zipwire, an underwriter's nightmare, and not very interesting... Waiting for Screech to get unbuckled from his harness... now that was cool! Wait... sorry, that really was a waste of time. A good event planner would have figured out that the zipwire was a non-starter (they should have figured it out after opening day this year, with Teddy's thing.... the same thing happened...

Overall, it was a great day for me... I had a blast.

Posted by: Wigi | September 23, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Another game note:

A phflock of Phillies fans tried to migrate down to our row after some other Nats fans migrated to another section (or went to FedEx Field). I looked them back up to their own section (they didn't draw a throw from me, though).

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 23, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Natsfan1a:

I am saddened (but resigned) to discover that some Phillies fans are like vultures, staking out empty seats like they are carrion... ready to swoop in and make them their own, without regard to decorum. Way to look them back...

Posted by: Wigi | September 23, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

True, Wigi, they can be rather Phoul.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 23, 2007 9:02 PM | Report abuse

When I saw Screech up on the zip line, I was hoping they were going to hang him, but I guess that might have traumatized the kids a little.

I'm really proud of both Hanrahan and Redding for their last games. Both have had weak outings and to be honest, I thought Hanrahan was going to get his a**ed kicked by Cole Hamels. He had a high pitch count, but man those strikeouts just kept coming. 7 Ks in less than 5 innings? Awesome.

I was pouting, arms crossed, and cursing Chief until I saw that final out in the 9th. Which I guess is okay because my seat mate figured out that as soon as I start griping about a player, he'll do something good.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 23, 2007 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted this on the previous thread, but may as well post it here, too:

Here's a photo of today's tailgate. Thanks again to all the folks who set it up, and Barry for not only showing up, but signing my copy of "National Pastime!"

http://picasaweb.google.com/juanjohnl/PlanetNJ

---

And one other note: My actual 20-game plan is Section 454, Row 1, Seat 10 (i.e. almost dead center field), but I usually sit in Section 522 (upper-deck yellow seats, just outside of third base). Because I had switched some earlier-game tix to be able to attend all four final games, my ticket was for the same seat, only one row behind (i.e. Section 454, Row 2, Seat 10).

Because today was the last day, I decided to sit in my actual seat (and wound up parboiling in the sun, but it was worth it, as I'll explain below).

The guy who got my seat today was one of the folks who, 30-odd years ago, hung the original "SHORT STINKS" banner. He and his buddies -- most of whom now live all over the country and whose hair is obviously a little grayer -- showed up for this game with -- you guessed it -- the "SHORT STILL STINNKS" banner.

They all had T-shirts with the old "SHORT STINKS" photo embossed on it, and were a really cool an knowledgable bunch.

Of course, after they hung it (in between the end of the 5th and start of the 6th, which is technically legal) one of the security folks showed up and said they had to take it away. They rolled it up and gave it to the security folks, who took it and (I heard later) dumped it in a trash can. Their protestations of the sign "going into the Hall of Fame" evidently fell on deaf ears.

Aside from questioning why Manny would switch Maxwell (who hit a grand slam earlier this month) for Church in the 7th inning (who subsequently grounded out into a double play), I'm really, really, REEEEEEALLY glad the Nats won today.

Looking forward to the PLANET NJ tailgate on Opening Day 2008!!!

Posted by: Juan-John | September 23, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Another fan anecdote. natsfan1c and I noticed several boys who were dangling a rope from Sect. 445, directly over the Phillies bullpen. When the boys brought the rope back up, we saw that they had rigged it so that a notepad and a ball were attached to it. We admired the boys' ingenuity but also wondered why they did not draw the attention of any security personnel. It later occurred to me that the boys were probably seeking autographs from the pitchers in the 'pen. Don't know whether they got any, but it lent a rather retro touch to the last day at RFK.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 23, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I had the same thought, NatsNut!

---

When I saw Screech up on the zip line, I was hoping they were going to hang him, but I guess that might have traumatized the kids a little.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 23, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

That must be why I missed the sign. Hope somebody was able to retrieve it for posterity.

---

Of course, after they hung it (in between the end of the 5th and start of the 6th, which is technically legal) one of the security folks showed up and said they had to take it away. They rolled it up and gave it to the security folks, who took it and (I heard later) dumped it in a trash can. Their protestations of the sign "going into the Hall of Fame" evidently fell on deaf ears.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 23, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I had the pleasure of taking my soon-to-be 45-year-old brother to the RFK finale today and the whole show was great. As an avid former Senators fan, I nearly lost my mind when the old AL-expansion Nats were introduced. He was amazed that I knew the players' numbers - even for guys like Ron Hansen and Fred Valentine. I told him that those were "my guys," who I used to listen to on the radio and watch on Channel 9 (anyone else remember Dan Daniels and John McLean?). The great thing about baseball is how it's a thread that unites generations. I was 16 when the Senators left and my brother was nine and he was never really into baseball until the Nats arrived in 2005.
And the three years at RFK with the Nats more than made up for the 34-year absence of MLB. Looking forward to staying informed on the NJ as to what's going on in the Nats Neighborhood (not yet quite a Nation). Hope everyone has a great offseason (especially Stan and JimBow) and may your stoves stay hot.

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 23, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

BTW - Right now on MASN (Mr. Angelos's Sports Network), a "Nats Classic" from 2005 is running. As long as those games are around, RFK will never die!

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 23, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Oops, sorry about screwing up the Short sign. This is a family channel (usually).

I bout a ticket for what I could get: sec 527, smack dab in the sun. When all the families ducked for shaded cover, i moved to a comfy spot, watching you NatsNutters bouncing on the bleachers below. Good idea!

I could've stayed in my brother's seats in section 310 (which won a Papa Johns pizza, btw), but I wanted to see the scoreboard, knowing there would be tributes, and i'm glad I did. SOOO glad to be a part of todays game and this W.

Oh, and leetee1955, in honor of SC NatsFan, who brought his id t-shirt today, it's "GO NATS! STAY HOT!"

New off-season slogan? "Go Nats Stoves! STAY HOT!"

-------
Hope everyone has a great offseason (especially Stan and JimBow) and may your stoves stay hot.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | September 23, 2007 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Would it have killed the Nats to spend the extra $40 per shirt and put the Senators names and numbers on the Red DC jerseys they wore at the beginning of the game. I mean come on!

Great win though!

Posted by: CA Natsfan | September 23, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Im curious as to the future of the Nats Journal. It was supposed to be a spring training experiment, which turned into a year long committment. Can we now expect the off-season committment?

And on to business...

I am hearing that the Pirates are close to signing the Indians Huntington for their GM opening. Do you know if they have asked the Nats to talk to Rizzo at all?

Posted by: natsinthevalley | September 23, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Did you all see that we got a puff piece on MLB.com Headlines?

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070923&content_id=2225493&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 23, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Love it, Shaw!

---

New off-season slogan? "Go Nats Stoves! STAY HOT!"

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 23, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

We roasted in the sun too. Not a sliver of shade all day. A little paradox to those freezing nights in April, I guess.

Section 226 was a nice change of sections (normally in 447), but it was hot and I'm not sure we got $60 bucks worth of bounce. Oh well. I still had a great baseball day.

506: yea, that was a nice little article. Let us know if fox sports, baseball tonight, or espn have anything to say about our day.

Don't forget the yahoo group. ;)

Posted by: NatsNut | September 23, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse

What a GREAT time my family and I had today. I will miss the ole place as even in section 511, we were close enough to argue with the home plate ump. Or at least it seemed so. It was so great to see my timid mind-your-own-business wife and daughter on their feat cheering/booing and generally showing a real passion for the game and by extension, life. Today stuff happened you never forget.

As for the "dust up" with Barry and Stan...You are both at the top of your games, one trying to manage the public perception of the team, the other trying to report the public perception of the team.

The one trying manage needs to understand this is not Atlanta, the one trying to report needs to understand this is not Atlanta and the one trying to manage is still getting his "sea legs". Both parties should understand that the Dc media has a duty to report the managing of public perceptions of this team.

clear as mud? Stan, you are dealing with THE Washington Post. Barry, you are dealing with THE Stan Kasten. Get on with it. Both sides come with warts.

-Eric

Posted by: Eric | September 23, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Actually, after opening up the Sunday morning paper and reading Eli Saslow's gamer, I believe that if Stan has lied to Barry, then Barry has also lied to Stan. You see, Barry told Stan he wrote for a Washington newspaper. He's been living that lie all year long now, but after Sunday morning the truth is finally out, isn't it?

Posted by: Section 419 | September 23, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

oh for goodness sake! that's a little dramatic isn't it 419?

Posted by: NatsNut | September 23, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

What's the GB/A List in September without a little innovation? This week - in response to a proposal from one of our fair bloggers - I will be listing an "elimination number" for all the teams below the Nationals in the standings. This number represents the number of Nationals wins and/or the number of the specific opponent's losses that will guarantee that said opponent cannot finish the year with a better record than the Washington "Worst in Baseball History" Nationals. Neener-neener.

NB: With six games left, the Nationals have not been eliminated mathematically from finishing better than anyone on our line tonight.

I've also marked the teams from the Senior Circuit, so you'll have a better idea where we stand in a more traditional baseball ranking system.

30. Tampa Bay (64-92), .410 (-5) E#: 1
28. (15.) Florida (66-90), .423 (-3) E#: 3
28. (15.) Pittsburgh (66-90), .423 (-3) E#: 3
27. Baltimore (66-89), .426 (-2.5) E#: 4
26. Kansas City (67-88), .432 (-1.5) E#: 5
25. Chi Sox (68-88), .436 (-1) E#: 5
24. (14.) Houston (68-88), .436 (-1) E#: 5
22. (12.) San Francisco (69-87), .442 (0)
22. (12.) NATS!!! (69-87), .442 (--)
21. (11.) Cincinnati (71-85), .455 (2)
20. Texas (72-83), .462 (3)
19. (10.) St. Louis (73-82), .471 (4.5)
18. Oakland (75-82), .478 (5.5)

Finally, since I will never again be able to swipe a seat in Section 506, it's time for me to bid you adieu, at least under this nom de plume. What's in a name? Still, parting is such sweet sorry, and the time to change has come.

Goodnight, sincerely...

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 23, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

On a different topic...

I was sitting at the game today, thinking about how lacking in originality most cheers are... "Lets go (fillintheblank)... clap, clap, clapclapclap"

Our comparable cheer, lacking for or exceeding the requisite syllables, is similarly dull... "Lets go Nats".

And then I remember a bumper sticker from when I was a kid... an old Senators bumper sticker... and from it I propose a new Nats cheer... simple, but different:

"Go Nats Go!"

Just an idea... someone else will have to carry the torch after the first few games next year...

Posted by: Wigi | September 24, 2007 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Hi all,

Just wanted to add my voice to all the others here and say how great it was to put the names with faces at this morning's tailgate (my first tailgate ever, as it happens, since I always walk to the games!). As I left RFK, I got one last pic with the bust of my hero out in front of the main gate, and said to my friends that I'll always love that dilapidated old place because it's where I fell in love with baseball.

I hope to have some pics to upload and share soon. Thanks again, Barry, for coming out to hang with us. What a treat!

NatsNut: I'm right with you... even though there's still a week to go, the thought that I just attended my last game of the season has me down already. Sigh. Also with you on the Cordero-cursing. Here's to a turnaround in that situation next season.

Now if I could only get this insomnia thing figured out...

Posted by: JennX (inexplicably awake in the middle of the night) | September 24, 2007 4:13 AM | Report abuse

I was really disappointed in the T Shirts, Milestones....BAH, they could have been a bit more creative! Nationals Last Day in RFK! That even rhymes, Ditto on Scretch, hang 'em high, hehe, or they could have left him there for the crows.

Posted by: Section 223 | September 24, 2007 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Headed to Shea tonight for one last in-person look at the '07 Nats. Can you fill us in more on the Carpenter decision? As a fan and viewer, I found it odd and rather wrongheaded, since I believe he's knowledgable and, perhaps more importantly, has a very distinctive play by play delivery, which I think helps in establishing a unique identity for both himself and the team, something a recently transplanted team can use. Can you fill in the blanks, as well as your own thoughts on this?

Posted by: BMG, Sec 413 | September 24, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I wanted to stop by the tailgate, but we were running late and barely made it to the park in time to see Boseman throw in the ceremonial first pitch. I did not want to be stand-off-ish and had looked forward to putting some faces together with the monikers. Alas, my anonymity and yours remains for me. Great game though. Cordero nearly cost me a heart attack, but a little excitement is always good I guess.

Posted by: NatBisquit | September 24, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

NatBisquit and others who weren't able to make it to the tailgate. There may still be hope for you to shed your secret identities, perhaps at an inaugural NL Blog Armchair GM Winter Meeting. Any interest in such a possibility, perhaps at a centrally located public venue?

---

Alas, my anonymity and yours remains for me.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and I like "Go Nats Go," Wigi.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Make that NJ Blog Armchair GM Winter Meeting...

---

I posted: NatBisquit and others who weren't able to make it to the tailgate. There may still be hope for you to shed your secret identities, perhaps at an inaugural NL Blog Armchair GM Winter Meeting. Any interest in such a possibility, perhaps at a centrally located public venue?

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

my apologies for not stopping by the tailgate. i didnt get to the stadium until 11:15 - and by that time i was a red on the annoyance alert.

an ethical question perhaps?

I saw tons of vendors with tape over the price buttons (ex: hot dogs for $6.25). i wonder if they all knew they would not have a job so they just started pocketing some extra? our group paid an usher $30 to sit us in the seats behind the dugout. so i know for a fact some people were out to make a profit yesterday.

thoughts?

Posted by: theraph | September 24, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Lastest from MASN: your new play-by-play announcer for the Washington Nationals...

Robert Fick.

Posted by: John in Mpls | September 24, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Wigi:
I like the "Go NATS Go!" cheer idea too.

Anything to create something distinctive to shout down the Mets and Phillies fans who come down here and (sometimes) outshout our often placid fannery.

"Lets go Nats!" sounds too much like "Let's go Mets" and "Let's go Nash-nols" sounds too much like "Let's go Fillies" in cadence.

Let's get Stan's Marketing Plan to "Go NATS Go!" in the off-season. Or, to give it a DC-centric twist:

"Go-Go, Nats, Go-Go!" ;-)

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | September 24, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs fans have been cheering "Go Leafs Go" for years. Works for them.

Posted by: John in Mpls | September 24, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"And those of you who were here on that night in 1971 - maybe even some of you who tore up the field and helped cause the forfeit - never thought you'd be saying that again 36 years later."

I was one of those here the last game in 1971, though no way WE were going to be allowed to participate in the civil unrest taking place on the field. I didn't find yesterday to be as emotional for me as Opening Day 2005, or even that exhibition vs. the Mets preceding it, but it was a fine day nonetheless.

Thank you 1a for stopping by our tailgate to say hello - sorry I didn't make time to exit ours for a while. I did visit briefly very early on - nice to meet Hendo who was 100% of the attendees at the time of my visit.

Regarding the SHORT STILL STINKS banners, I have a picture posted among others on the Nats Fan Forum, you'll just have to scroll down to find it. Unfortunatly the wind got the better of my digital lag, but you can at least get a flavor for the impressive size of the banners.

http://www.wnff.net/index.php/topic,5411.0.html

Posted by: tomterp | September 24, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I was there for the last Senators game in 1971 and actually carried that ticket stub in my wallet at yesterday's finale. I think I can finally retire it. I may frame it with the Opening Day ticket from 2005, yesterday's ticket, and the ticket for the opener in the new stadium. It's always great to see Frank Howard. My most vivid memory of RFK was Frank hitting a homerun in the Senator's last game. He had to make three curtain calls and there wasn't a dry eye in the place. In contrast to that funeral for the Senators, yesterday was a celebration of RFK and baseball's return. I can't wait for the first pitch on South Capitol Street.

Posted by: Union Station | September 24, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Nice twist, Shaw!

---

Let's get Stan's Marketing Plan to "Go NATS Go!" in the off-season. Or, to give it a DC-centric twist:

"Go-Go, Nats, Go-Go!" ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Can someone explain the meaning of "Short Still Stinks?"
My seat-mates and I were (are) clueless.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 24, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut, I'll let Sect. 320, and our resident Senators history experts, field this one:

http://nats320.blogspot.com/2006/11/night-my-washington-senators-died_26.html

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Natsnut, I would also highly recommend going back and reading some of Shirley Povich's articles that are still available in the "Shirley Povich Tribute" section of this site. But specifically to your point about the "SHORT STILL STINKS" reference, see Shirley's article about the 1971 game.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/general/povich/launch/senators2.htm

Posted by: tomterp | September 24, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Oh. I see. got it. Thanks guys.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 24, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

And here's a photo of the "SHORT STILL STINKS" banners that were unfurled after the game. The wind had picked up, so this was the best one I took:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aarongstock/1430754723/

Posted by: Aaron G. Stock | September 24, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

New post is up -- from the train. Talk to you later.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | September 24, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, as always, to the poster formerly known as Sect. 506 (AM), whose new moniker has yet to be revealed and will, it is to be hoped, be shorter than this run-on effort, for the GB/A with a twist.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

BMG, Sec 413 - Thanks for noticing that a good man has been fired for no reason. I, too, have sifted through The Post for any explanation, and found none. All that I can add is that Stan Kasten told me that he brought Don Sutton from Atlanta. If Sutton or Mr. Kasten had said a word, Bob would still be here. Sutton is a prima donna with a bad temper that already showed itself to a female journaler who followed the team to Pittsburgh. He was let go in Atlanta for a reason. Bof Carpenter was let go here for no reason.

Posted by: flynnie | September 24, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Oh, wait, I just realized that it has been changed, Sect. 506 (BM)

---

Thanks, as always, to the poster formerly known as Sect. 506 (AM), whose new moniker has yet to be revealed and will, it is to be hoped, be shorter than this run-on effort, for the GB/A with a twist.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Sorry that I did not say hello to most of you guys. I was parked with your group, but I got there after 10:30, worked on the grill, spent 20 minutes running up to the stadium to hand off two tickets, and suddenly it was 11:30 and everyone was heading in. If you hold a tailgate next season, I'll do my best to be more social.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | September 24, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry we didn't get to meet you, powerboater!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Sect. 506, I just happened on a nifty site that shows elimination nos. for teams to finish above opponents in their divisions (see NLE link below). There's even a GA/B system. Pretty cool! (It's not your site, is it? Coz it seems to have a Rangers association).

http://www.magicnumbers.org/nle.php

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Some thoughts about yesterday:

1) Whoever the groundskeeper is that has "pledged his allegiance" to the Nationals isn't doing the marketing division any favors, based on the way the field looked.

2) Great idea to have Teddy show up at the new ballpark, except that anyone seated on the right field side (I was one) had no idea where he was, or why he was missing. Luckily I was on line for an ATM and saw it on the monitor, but everyone that couldn't see the big screen - roughly one-third of the crowd - had no idea why TR was missing. And why did they wait until the 8th inning to have him come out (with no introduction whatsoever)? They should have introduced him during 7th-inning stretch (a custom which I understand was the real TR's suggestion), with all the bells and whistles. "Teddy always loses" is a great gimmick, but now that he's become "beloved" he has to at least be given some props or they're going to really annoy his fans.

3) I think the reason why the "Short Still Stinks" banners (one for each word) had to be taken down is that they were obstructing the view of many in the centerfield mezz. section underneath. Too bad - obviously a very clever idea.

My son and I had a great time. I'm going to miss the old place.

Michael

Posted by: MikeH0714 | September 24, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I could see the scoreboard from my seat in left field but wasn't watching it when Teddy was shown, nor were others in my row. We were talking amongst ourselves and speculating that Teddy might approach the umps later and challenge the results. Then, later, I thought maybe Screech's surprise might be a ROY award for Teddy's heart, despite his less than stellar results. I kept wondering what Screech's surprise would be as he dangled clumsily on the end of the line. Then I realized that it *was* the surprise. natsfan1c thought that perhaps the surprise was on Screech. Hang 'im high!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 24, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

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