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Hill's surgery scheduled

So the Nationals have scheduled surgery for Shawn Hill on his left (non-throwing) shoulder for Thurs., Oct. 4 -- the week after the season ends -- with the renowned James Andrews at the scalpel. This is the shoulder that Hill originally hurt while diving back into third base in April in Florida, the one that he believes caused him to alter his delivery, thus injuring his elbow. We'll see how quickly he can get back on the mound, and whether he can make up for lost innings in winter ball.

Jason Simontacchi, meanwhile, had a small bone spur in his right elbow removed by Dr. Andrews on Tuesday. It's going to take him three to four months to recover. What starting pitcher had the most wins on the 2007 Nationals? That would be, for now, Simontacchi with six. He went 6-7 with a 6.37 ERA. Jon Rauch leads the staff with eight wins (8-4, 3.76 ERA).

I'll get a Phillies lineup in a bit.

By Barry Svrluga  |  September 20, 2007; 3:19 PM ET
 
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Next: Stan, Me and the Relationship between Reporter and Club

Comments

I'm carrying this over because I'm curious what people's opinions on this are:

The Nats have scored 621 runs this season, fewest in the league. They have allowed 730 runs, or 109 more than they have scored. Only Houston, Tampa Bay and the Chicago White Sox have larger negative differentials.

Boston, New York and the LA Angels (the AL division leaders) all have positive differentials in excess of 100. The Mets, Phillies, Braves, Cubs, Padres and Rockies have positive differentials in the range of 45-75. Milwaukee is also in contention with a positive differential of 17. And amazingly, the D-backs lead the West despite a negative differential of 21.

Does any of this mean anything? Maybe it's obvious: score more runs than you give up and you will win more games than you lose.

What do the Nats need to do in order to gain a net of, say, 150 runs? I think our ERA is last in the league on the road, meaning our young pitchers have benefitted from the concrete cavern that is RFK. Can we expect their collective ERA to improve even as we move to what is probably a more hitter-friendly park? If not, will the move plus improvements on offense be enough to make up the difference?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 20, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

And I this, because it's my tribute to RFK:

I'll miss the working-class feel RFK has now. Coupled with the never-say-die attitude of "the worst team in baseball" it really makes watching the Nationals something special. It evokes sandlots and running out infield singles, crafty lefties and reclamation projects, beating-the-odds and coming from behind. It really is a part of the Nationals aura, which is everything that is right about baseball, the little guy standing up to the big, powerful, steroid-enhanced mega-stars. We don't have anything going for us, but us, and that's more than all your cash can buy.

That's what I hope is taken to the new ballpark. Home plate was never that good to us, anyway.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 20, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

re-post from previous:

theraph,
I'm sharing your sentiment about the jacked-up ticket prices -- especially the $300 'club' seats that I agree with others, will largely be unsold for many games next year. (although I will be scouring craiglist for occasional splurge games for HEAVILY discounted tickets)

I understand the need to raise ticket prices, but with the "typical" seat going from $25-35 range to $50-60, that changes all the economics of going to a game. I hit over 30 games this year, usually buying a $5 or $10 seat, or a craigslist bargain or scalper, at big discounts, and moving to a good seat. Curious to see how many games I attend next year - and likely most will be via craigslist tix.

(update) Just reviewed the seating chart for next year again, and I may have overstated the $50-60 average. Only the infield seats and club tix are at those prices. I'm still betting there will be bargains for slow nights on the secondary market though.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | September 20, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

That's the post of the day, Sect. 506. Atta boy!

---

I'll miss the working-class feel RFK has now. Coupled with the never-say-die attitude of "the worst team in baseball" it really makes watching the Nationals something special. It evokes sandlots and running out infield singles, crafty lefties and reclamation projects, beating-the-odds and coming from behind. It really is a part of the Nationals aura, which is everything that is right about baseball, the little guy standing up to the big, powerful, steroid-enhanced mega-stars. We don't have anything going for us, but us, and that's more than all your cash can buy.

That's what I hope is taken to the new ballpark. Home plate was never that good to us, anyway.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

does anyone want to answer my question? i feel lonely and unaccounted for....

------

i have a question for all STHs if you would do me the favor of trying to quell my curiosity?

why buy season tickets? i find that being forced into games decreases the fun factor and makes it an unnecessary commitment. I know a few people with season tix, and they always have to try to get rid of them due to unforeseen events or obligations - or even bc they do not want to go.

ive always been a fan of the spur of the moment "hey lets go to the game tonight" theory. even the bobblehead games this year became a burden. its like a black cloud on the calendar for me.

i am in no way criticizing. just curious to the draw of having season tickets? anyone want to fill me in?

Posted by: theraph | September 20, 2007 03:22 PM

Posted by: theraph | September 20, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

theraph:

My buddy and I get the 20-game package - normally because it offers enough flexibility that the two of us can go together, or when one of us can't, we can bring another friend or girlfriend.

Unless you buy every ticket at the game itself, even buying the tickets a day ahead online will subject you to the ticket fees that rob you of the chance to go to extra games. For me, the extra fees (which are the bane of my existence - there are few things in this world more annoying to me) more than eat up any benefit I'd gain from missing a game or two when I have other things to do. Above that, I know the tickets won't be wasted, because I know either my buddy or I will ultimately end up going to our 20, plus several others, when caught up in a particular promotion or spur of the moment.

Posted by: faNATic | September 20, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The practice of buying cheap seats and sneaking into other sections really needs to come to end. Nothing is more irratating than people who start poaching seats from some father and son who went for a hot dog in the 7th inning.

Posted by: Sit in the Seat you Payed For | September 20, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

On the contrary, however, no one should really mind other Nats fans taking advantage of genuinely empty seats in the upper deck. As there are generally many many many empty seats in the vast reaches of RFK, i don't see this as a huge problem whatsoever.

If someone returns to find their seat taken, generally all that is required is an "excuse me, i believe we were sitting here" and the problem is solved. If you get flak back, it's likely because the offending seat-stealers were Mets or Phillies fans anyway... In which case, you should call an usher and put them in their proper place.

Posted by: Payed is Spelled Paid | September 20, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I can't figure out what it was exactly but the Nats changed their website banner. I believe they removed Nick Johnson. Interesting.... I KNOW Dmitri wasn't on there before...

Posted by: GoNats | September 20, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Wait will he get to pitch in the world series then? What about our playoff hopes?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Yes, AND, a genuinely empty seat in the section you paid for is fair game, in my book. (Except in the wee hours of an extra-inning, rain-delayed game when I think the team could even make an announcement to 'come on down').

I wasn't even talking about moving down to the first tier. Just swinging around on the upper bowl, when you have 30,000+ empty seats.

My 2 cents, and, I've never seen someone who snuck (stole?) a seat ever give the legit owner any flack. If you've never done it yourself, well, good for you, I guess.

--------
The practice of buying cheap seats and sneaking into other sections really needs to come to end. Nothing is more irratating than people who start poaching seats from some father and son who went for a hot dog in the 7th inning.
---
Posted by: Sit in the Seat you Payed For | September 20, 2007 03:54 PM

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | September 20, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

We have a 20 game package because you feel like you belong to something. Not to mention the ticket exchange thing is great. Plus they send you vouchers for free tix so you can still have the occassional spontaneous visit.

And of course, someday in the distant future we'll have guaranteed Playoff & All-Star Tickets.

Posted by: GoNats | September 20, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Spur of the moment type purchases are going to cost more next year. More than half the stadium, and most all of the really good seats, will be in the hands of season ticket holders. You'll be getting your best single game seats from the secondary market, and I think the demand is going to drive your seats up above face value. So, for 2008 at least, there is a decent advantage in terms of cost in getting a plan. You can go in with 4 or 5 people and split a plan via a draft. That's the way to go. With a plan, you'll have an easier time transfer unwanted games as well. The Nats Fan club probably is good place to start if you want to get into a group.

I am optimist, but I think the that new park is going to be a real destination next summer. It's design with the open venue and lots of field view concessions is going to lure the DC wonks out for at least one summer to the 'see and be seen' place. Hopefully, the team will get good and folks will continue to have a reason to come out in 09 and beyond. Nats tickets will still be cheaper than Skins or NBA seats, and even the Caps charge a huge premium on single game seats. Anyhow, attendance is Lerner's problem. If he wants to make money, he'll field a good team.

Posted by: TimB | September 20, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Good catch, GoNats!

Dmitri was not on the team site yesterday, and neither was the diving Zimm. Guess they're getting revamped for 2008, finally.

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | September 20, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Why buy season tickets? Well for one thing, you have to enjoy going to a lot of games - not much point in doing it if you don't. It's also nice to have the same seat each time (though I've also gone to plenty of games where I've sat in other spots). I have a group of friends who each commit to 6 or more games, so I sell about 2/3 of the tickets that way, and then the rest are for other friends who don't want to go that often, or for me. I do end up with a number of unused tickets at the end of the year, but I just look at it as the cost of doing business. I'm fortunate to have enough disposable income to handle it.

I guess I don't really understand the question. If you like going to games and can afford it, why NOT buy season tickets?

Posted by: Cosmo | September 20, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

You know, sometimes I really wish there was an "emoticon" for eye rolling...

Posted by: Matt | September 20, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the replies.

but i feel the NOT was accounted for in the original question. and if you really want to get technical, my attendance preferences were also accounted for in previous posts.

Posted by: theraph | September 20, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Like Juan-John, my attendance has been increasing and my price per ticket decreasing since 2005.
As for the question on why buy season tickets? Good question.I actually had a hard time committing to even the $5, 20-game plan this year just for that reason--forced to go to the games. But let me tell you, it was absolutely the perfect number of games and I had no problem making all of them, and then some. 40 games would have been a bit much, but with the 20-game plan, there were enough stretches in between games that just when I was getting antsy for another game, there she was, my cute little season ticket ($5 INCLUDING TAX), sitting all crisp and ready in my little packet. Since the price was so good and already paid, I still bought last minute, "hey, let's go to a game" tickets. I've splurged for the orange seats now and then too.

As for the price jump, yea, that made me gulp hard. I think of it this way: no matter what, Nats in DC will be divided into two completely different experiences. One is a very raw, nostalgic-before-it's-over experience. Walk-up, last minute and get a $5 ticket. Shoot, even a season ticket available for $5 bucks a piece is already nostalgic. Those of us who really love the game and really pay attention, savor the ability to go to more games, more frequently, super cheap, with lots of breathing room around us, the ability to walk away from the posers who only stop yammering AFTER something exciting happens, and smug in the thought that we're still showing up, supporting the underdog. But honestly, as much as we'd like to think the team is dependent on us diehards to survive, I don't think they make the real money off us, and they certainly don't need to target their marketing and publicity to us.

Which brings me to the second experience, which is just inevitable. The slick new ballpark, the slick in-game entertainment, the hip, modern, flashy experience. Not to mention the desire to show-off those slick, expensive seats they scored. These are all for the people who will show up when the team is winning, these are all for the people who make the team money, and these are all for the people Stan is going to target his publicity to. It's just inevitable. Though I love my raw, raggedy, cheap RFK experience, I've just accepted that I'll keep it an awesome memory and always be very thankful to have seen this side of the experience. If I have to tighten my belt a little to afford the new season tickets, I will because regardless, they're still my team and I need to be there as a true fan.

Sorry this is so long. All this RFK nostalgia is starting to get to me.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 20, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I think there's plenty of room for both types of fans (at least there certainly is at RFK this year) - season ticketholders and walk-up crowds.

From a franchise standpoint, the hope is, obviously, that the ratio swings a little further in favor of the season ticketholders than it currently stands. That's because season ticket holders of any flavor are guaranteed and instant revenue that can be put directly back into the team, wherever it needs it most. Walk-up traffic is notoriously hard to predict and far more subject to the whims of prospective attendees' attraction to other goings-on (like the Skins game this weekend, for example). Additionally, you don't get the money ahead of time for planning purposes and spending in-season.

From a fan standpoint, I personally like being able to guarantee that I'll be able to go to a certain number of games, regardless of what else is going on... I can pencil it in on the calendar way ahead of time and have something to look forward to. Again, that's just personal, and I think there's room for both audiences... In fact, I think the strength of the franchise depends on being able to draw both.

Posted by: faNATic | September 20, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Official details on all the pomp and circumstance on Sunday can be found here:

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20070919&content_id=2218470&vkey=pr_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

Posted by: GoNats | September 20, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Basically you have to decide between:

1. Going to games on a whim and taking whatever seats are available and that you can afford at the time.

2. Having a regular seat location and knowing that you can go there whenever you want (but paying for it in advance).

Both ways are fine and of course it depends on what you can afford. If you see season tickets as a "burden," then don't do it.

Posted by: Cosmo | September 20, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Actually I do have a shorter answer as to "why season tickets". You do feel part of a special group. Sitting in the same seat gives a feeling of ownership. Ushers get to know you in your section and you feel a comraderie with the people around you with season tickets too. Plus the tickets are colorful and come in a cool packet. ;)

Posted by: NatsNut | September 20, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Cosmo,

i dont know if your trying to piss me off or not. obviously you must skim instead of read.

personally, i do see it as a burden, and as a result i have not purchased them.

my question was just one of curiosity as to why others do it. because if i am missing something that is awesome, i would like to be told of my mistake and then jump on board. most people do not feel they know everything and therefore ask other people about their preferences while trying to make educated decisions.

this isnt theraph v. Season Ticket Holders.

its information gathering, not questioning or criticizing - which was also in my original post.

Posted by: theraph | September 20, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I bought 2 season tickets almost the day they became available when the move was announced, this was despite the fact that I was about to move to California.

Losing the Senators broke my heart in 1971 when I was a little kid and I wanted to do everything I could to KEEP the Nationals in town.

I ended up with two good seats right behind home plate in the front row of the yellow section -- and because I did NOT move to California have enjoyed being there in person at least 150 times the past three years.

In the meantime, I got married and my wife and I had a baby... Two seats are no longer enough, we need three.

So I filled out the forms, asked for an upgrade to 3 Full Season seats I really can't afford and figure that once again

So imagine my surprise, anger and shock when I got a phone call from the Nationals this morning telling that since I only had two tickets at RFK, asking for three put me in the back of the line.

Here I am, an incredibly loyal fan, raising my child to be one too and there putting me at the back of the line?

I must have spend a couple thousand dollars on crappy Aramark food and overpriced souvenirs over the past three years, not to mention incredibly overpriced parking on the weekends. I've recruited scores of people to support this team, yet......

Stan, if you're reading this, I'm not happy.

Posted by: Sec 515 | September 20, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"The first 35,000 fans to enter Saturday evening's game (7:05pm) will receive a 2007 Team Photo, courtesy of Southwest Airlines"

Hmmmm. If one of the players is deemed to be dressed inappropriately, I wonder if Southwest will redact them from the team photo?

Posted by: joebleux | September 20, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

If I lived in DC, I would buy season tickets. In fact, I emailed Kasten and suggested that they have a ticket plan for people like me, who make a dozen games a year, but want them in blocks, like, every game in this homestand.

There is a sense of belonging in having season tickets (I know this from having had Caps and San Jose Sharks season tickets) that you don't get if you just but single game tickets. Also... the service fees are outrageous for advance purchase tickets... it annoys the heck out of me when I have to pay an extra $7 (or whatever it is) to save some person the work of talking to me on the phone, or seeing me face-to-face to purchase a ticket. I've done all the labor.

Anyway, so while I vacation here in DC (what better vacation than watching the Nats, huh) I'll take advantage of the walk-up seats.

Posted by: Wigi | September 20, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

theraph, I didn't read Cosmo's "burden, don't do it" as challenging at all. It looked like a simple statement. It could have just as easily said "if you see it as a burden, I wouldn't do it. no big deal"

I totally saw season tickets as a burden too, and almost didn't. I did end up buying them, glad I did. But I (and I suspect Cosmo and others) totally get it if one viewed season tickets as a burden.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 20, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Hang out!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Sec 515 -- I feel your pain. However, during the relocation process, it clearly stated that if you wanted to increase your current # of season tickets, you MUST purchase the additional season ticket for this current season.

I bought two tix the second they went on sale in 2005. A week before the season started, my daughter was born. I knew the next two years I could get away with having just two tickets (kids under 2 are free). So, with the new relo rules, we purchased a third ticket for the remaining games for this season. So now I'm not kicked to the end of the line and can upgrade to three tix. Was I pleased with the relo rule to increase the # of tix? No, but it was spelled out multiple times that if I wanted an additional seat for next year, I had to buy it for this year.

Posted by: e | September 20, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Ah, I just purchased a 6-pack of San Jose Sharks season tickets. :) Too bad I can't go to Nats games. I go every year now when they come to SF.

Posted by: Patty | September 20, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

thats what i figured, but i decided to ask regardless. to me, unnecessary quotations are expressing challenging/condescending/dismissing attitudes.

and unless there is a playful tone precedence - it is easy to misconstrue meaningless punctuation as insulting.

or, i could be over analyzing.

Posted by: theraph | September 20, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

theraph, I for one don't see having season tickets as being a "burden" or something to which one is "forced" to have to do.

If that's how you feel, your decision not to buy season tix was the absolutely RIGHT one for you. Kudos to you for having realized this before buying them, instead of buying them and then realizing, "Crap, I really don't wanna do this." That truly woulda sucked! :-)

For me, even though I only have a 20-game plan, I've found (as someone else said above) that it's the perfect number for me. And, on dates that I haven't been able to make a game, I've been able to exchange them in advance for a game that I *can* go to.

Posted by: Juan-John | September 20, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut, thanks for clarifying my statements. That's what I meant, it's not a big deal. The important thing is to go to the games. It's like buying a car or a house -- some people see those things as a burden too. There's room for both ways. I like having a regular seat that's already paid for as well as the discounts and other perks that come from having an account. The other way is fine if it works for you.

Posted by: Cosmo | September 20, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Nats banner is terrible. BTW, Barry, you said it would take Simontacchi a few months to recover. A few months, as a National, or do you think a few months as a free agent?

Posted by: Andrew S. | September 20, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Season tickets is a good conversation, but requires $$$, which I don't have.

So I'll address the OTHER seating topic:

As the patron saint of poaching seats, I'm going to offer up a defense: there's no defense for doing it, but like all of baseball, it ain't cheating if you don't get caught.

A couple rules:

1. Always make sure you're not stealing someone else's seats. If you're moving out of the 500s (I don't ever, because 506 is just good enough for me) this means you have to wait until the 4th inning.

2. If you find yourself in someone else's seats, apologize profusely and move promptly.

3. If stadium personnel catch you in a seat you didn't pay for, don't pretend you don't have your ticket, don't try to ague about fairness, just get up and move with a big apology. And don't go trying to poach seats again for that night, move to your paid seats. You got caught, do your time.

4. Never, ever be obnoxious. You are essentially an invasive pest. You have no right to be there. So be nice and friendly, high-five everyone, be nice to the other team's fans, don't get stupid-drunk unless your paying for everyone in the row, and give any fly balls you catch to kids. Actually, do that last one anyway.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 20, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

natsfan1a (I think) inquired on the previous thread: "Hendo, if you're coming into National, why not just hop on the blue line and take the Metro to RFK?"

Principally because my real destination is Silver Spring -- right above second base, for those of you scoring at home. The thought of dropping by the stadium was kind of a lark, and is much less attractive if I have to spend an extra ~30 minutes each direction (the wrong direction) plus still have to drive home afterward from Virginia.

Those in knots over the future parking situation at Nats Park have my empathy.

Posted by: Hendo | September 20, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I bought a 20-game plan, one ticket for myself, this year. When I did, I expected that there would be four or five games I'd have to miss due to conflicts, but still the per game price for the games I actually went to would be cheaper than if I bought single-game tix spur of the moment. But with the exchange program (which I didn't even know about when I signed up) I was able to switch off the games in my plan for other games of my choice - albeit not in my same seat, but in comparable seat locations. As it turned out, I think I only sat in my assigned seat for about 10 of the 20 games this year. Had I wanted to, I could have created my own "every Sunday" or "every day game" or "every non-Mets/Phils/Cubs game" plan by using the exchange program. Although I never tried it, there was nothing in the rules that would have prevented me from taking a ticket from each of two different games and exchanging them for two seats together for some game, say if I wanted to bring a date sometime. And as a STH benefit, the Nats gave me a voucher for a block of four free tickets, so I was able to treat a couple of friends to a game. Also, I paid no premium game prices or service charges on any tickets all season long.

I certainly hope the Nats continue the exchange program in the new stadium. I expect that they will, unless the stadium sells out to STHers to an extent that exchanges wouldn't be feasible because there would be no available seats to exchange for. I also expect that if they don't totally sell out to full season, half season and 20-game plans they will offer other types of plans, e.g. a Sunday package, in the future. I'm sure that trying to introduce that type of thing on top of trying to relocate all the existing STHers would have created a prohibitive mess for next year, leaving everyone unhappy in the end.

Posted by: Section 419 | September 20, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Getting to the stadium from National is pretty darn easy. Take the Parkway north and hope on I-395 and follow the signs to RFK.

Getting to National from anywhere is the hard part.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 20, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I would guess that the parking fee is collected for an hour or so after the game starts. I've showed up very late a couple of times -- 90+ minutes -- and no one was there to take my pass. No one scanned my ticket going in either.

Posted by: Cosmo | September 20, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

419

see, this is what im talking about. the exchange program? awesome info. thanks. i had no idea about it whatsoever. maybe thats because i refuse to mine for information on the nationals website.

again, many thanks. that sounds like an idea that helps out flexibility.

great info.

Posted by: theraph | September 20, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Hendo -
I've parked at Pentagon City, taken the Metro and then driven back to MD via inner loop, GW Parkway, or Clara Barton Parkway. It's not bad.

Posted by: flynnie | September 20, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"maybe thats because i refuse to mine for information on the nationals website."

Not trying to be critical, but if your goal is to gather information, why do you not do this? That's a better source than asking questions on a blog.

Posted by: Cosmo | September 20, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Matt and I will be hosting an exorcism on September 23rd in parking lot 8. All of the Nats hierarch are encouraged to come. I'll bring a Jesuit priest. I'm off to the game.

Posted by: flynnie | September 20, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I bought a single season ticket this season only after spending the past two seasons hopping around from section to section looking for one I'd like.

In 2005 I spent a lot of time in 324, but never had any regular neighbors there. Then got a mini-plan for 416 (at the end of the pennant race) and found it too hard to keep score and dodge fouls from right-handed hitters at the same time.

Last May or thereabouts I alit in 428, where I have seatmates I like. In December I learned my favorite seat was available as a full season ticket, so I jumped on it.

Those are the main reasons I went for the full ride: nice neighbors and a good seat. Oh, and a bonus:

Y'all know how much I travel. ("What was he thinking?" I hear you cry.) The Nats have a fairly liberal exchange policy. This year you could exchange future dates for other future dates the same time of the week (weeknights or weekends). And there were six dates this season to which you could exchange any tickets, even to past games you'd missed.

As a result, I've been able to assemble several very nice get-togethers with unused tickets (and build some new Nats fans), as well as always being able to accommodate a friend or client (provided I know a week or so in advance).

Don't know if next year's policy will be as liberal, but I would anticipate some exchange opportunities. Anyway, my deposit's down with no regrets.

Posted by: Hendo | September 20, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

the difference between primary sources and revisionist history secondary sources.

in this case, id rather get my information from people who would provide insight - rather than read a pampered PR statement.

so for my purposes, this source is working just fine.

Posted by: theraph | September 20, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Re the exchange program: Remember that I said I didn't know about it before I bought my plan, it was just a nice surprise once I found out I could do it. And there has been no mention from the team as to whether or not the exchange program will carry over to next year. So if that's the thing that's selling you on buying a plan for next year, be sure to verify with your ticket rep that it will be available next year before you put your money down. Otherwise you might end up sorry!

Posted by: Section 419 | September 20, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that was me Hendo. Now I know the rest of the story and get it. At any rate, have fun if you do end up going tonite!

---

Principally because my real destination is Silver Spring -- right above second base, for those of you scoring at home. The thought of dropping by the stadium was kind of a lark, and is much less attractive if I have to spend an extra ~30 minutes each direction (the wrong direction) plus still have to drive home afterward from Virginia.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for asking your question, theraph. As another non-STH, it's been interesting for me to read the answers.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Another caveat on the exchange program: You can exchange tickets by mail, but it has to be two weeks prior to the game you want to attend. You can also exchange tickets at the box office, but IIRC it has to be done 48 hours prior to the game you want to attend. So it's not totally "spur of the moment". Also, you can only exchange each ticket once, i.e. you can't exchange a ticket you exchanged for. But even with all that, it's a nice perk to being an STH.

Posted by: Section 419 | September 20, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Scr3w this popsicle stand (work, not NJ).

I'm off to the game. :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | September 20, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Season Ticket Holders usually get a per seat discount regardless of the plan. It is expensive and, for me, non-affordability is only reason not to purchase. The different plans (amount of games to be seen) should help anyone with timing issues (I can make 20 games even 30 but 41 is too much). theraph--I don't know why but your question almost provokes me to answer-If you have to ask, don't bother.

On another matter, I am glad to see sanity restored to the Blog. What was with all the nastiness on the previous thread? To Jenn X, Hendo et. al, I will (with my wife) try to make the event in the parking lot Sunday. I will come with fresh almond and chocolate croissants and fresh brewed Mayorga "cuban" coffee. LETS GO NATS!!

Posted by: Section 417 Row 8 Seat 9 (Tomorrow Night) | September 20, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me the Nats should be your "primary" information source. Blog postings certainly can provide perspective and valuable information, but an awful lot of people don't bother to check facts. (Not saying that's happening here, but you have to be skeptical on both sides.)

The Nats have a whole page that lists all the benefits of being an STH, and there are other pages that describe the exchange programs.

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/ticketing/st_benefits.jsp

Posted by: Cosmo | September 20, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Cosmo is Stan Kasten's MOM!!!!

In seriousness, though, I agree with theraph. The Nats site is not intuitive, often incorrect, and all together less trustworthy than random strangers I've never met writing under pseudonyms from undisclosed locations.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 20, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Yankees have 716 RA, Detroit 767, Philly 785... The pitching may have been helped by RFK, but the team still has to score more runs. I don't think the differential really matters. We just have to score more runs or it won't matter who's pitching.

Posted by: Ed | September 20, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Those of you going to many games by ticket package or individual tickets, please continue! Many of us with kids (I have 3) with their own schedules have trouble going to as many games as we'd like, and you help maintain the team until we have more flexibility. I try to make up for it with Nationals gear.

In the meantime, I want to give Simontacchi his due, which is merely to acknowledge that we rooted for him this season, and that his 6 wins are appreciated. I certainly wanted him to be a Comeback Player of the Year (but hey, we have that award winner in the Meat Hook). It seems instead that he, like Hanrahan and a few others, were simply failed prospects who couldn't be saved by a great pitching coach and one more chance to get regular work.

Simontacchi wil almost certainly fall out of the prospector's pan, but perhaps Redding's sub-4 ERA is real (one last good start, please), and maybe Hill, Bergmann and Chico mean we don't start the year by filling 4 of 5 rotation spots.

The Nats have earned better attendance next year, and not just because of the new stadium. Baseball Prospectus today said in a chat that Justin Maxwell has always been a prospect, but injured, and had hopes for his future. Even the likes of Nook Logan fended off righteous calls for his dismissal, and Jimenez and Fick are at least working at the end to make us remember them more fondly.

It always comes back to the same premise we started with- we have baseball, and that is a great start. Beyond that, I submit that some clubs seemed cursed, and some seem better than they have a right to be. I think the Nats have been the latter over the first 3 years.

Posted by: Scrub fan | September 20, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

That all sounds delightful, Sect. 417!

---

To Jenn X, Hendo et. al, I will (with my wife) try to make the event in the parking lot Sunday. I will come with fresh almond and chocolate croissants and fresh brewed Mayorga "cuban" coffee. LETS GO NATS!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Scrub;

I think perennially losing organiations have to purge their demons. ans as loathe as I am to say it. the Nats demon is Montreal and by extension MLB ownership. I think the Nats are doing a good job with that... ans the modest successes of this year are indicators of that. There are certainly other outomes we could have had.

Posted by: Wigi | September 20, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Andrew, Player cannot be release while on the DL. So JS will recover as a National.

Posted by: Tom | September 20, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Ryan Church says, "Look, Manny, I don't care if you play me every day or not. Okay, I do care. But even if you don't, I'm doing my damnedest to hit 50 doubles this year, whether you like it or not!"

Posted by: Anonymous | September 20, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

If Manny had benched Logan instead of Church when we got WMP from Boston he would have gotten his 50 doubles easy.

I think he's perfectly fit as a 4th outfielder though, doesn't have the stress and grind of playing every day, plus he's a lefty.

Posted by: estuartj | September 20, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Bergmann better pitch a complete game after not getting PH for after pitching 5 innings (82 pitches) and the bases loaded.

Posted by: estuartj | September 20, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse

sigh.

Posted by: Atlanta | September 20, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

ARGH, I HATE Philadelphia!!!! GRARASW!!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 20, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Aren't our pitchers going to have to pitch into the 7th on a fairly regular basis for the Nats to have more success next year?

It seems to me we are going to have a tired bullpen again if our starters constantly pitch 6 innings or less.

Posted by: Ed | September 20, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Ed, thanks for being the only one to comment on my question about run differential, which is evidently less interesting than the benefits or detriments associated with holding season tickets, or where to park at the ballpark, and I don't mean that as a criticism of anyone.

I would suggest that run differential does matter, and that what does not matter is the number of runs allowed or scored, as long as you score more than you allow (meaning, you can get there by scoring more and allowing less, in any combination that nets you something like 150 runs).

So, the question, in my mind, is how do we get there. Two top of the rotation starters and keep our offense intact? Hope the pitching holds up in the new park and sign some offensive talent? Both, or neither?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 20, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I HJATE JIMMY ROLLINS!! GRRR!!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 20, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

It would have been nice of Tony to bend over.

Posted by: Ed | September 20, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Stupid Phillies with their stupid crummy bullpen that only decides to be good when they're playing us. Everyone knows the Phillies are the highest scoring team in the league, but that's only because they have to outpace their pitchers. So how come tonight their pitchers are on fire. ARGH. They've just got our number somehow, I hate, hate, hate it!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 20, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

What do you guys know about the ceremony after the game? How long are we looking at? Any surprises? Worth staying for shirts off their backs? I am thinking the trip from RFK to FedEx is doable, but wanna see the ceremony

Posted by: Nats-Giants Fan | September 20, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, celebrate your victory Phils, you burned out your bullpen doing it and tomorrow we're going to ruin your night.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 20, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Bob, I think you might be a year early with your question. Something tells me that once we move into the new stadium, winning is going to become much more important and people are going to be a bit more critical.

Btw, I sprung for the half season plan for next year.

Posted by: Ed | September 20, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

OMG, HILARIOUS! OTFL!!

___
The Nats site is not intuitive, often incorrect, and all together less trustworthy than random strangers I've never met writing under pseudonyms from undisclosed locations.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 20, 2007 05:49 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | September 20, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

NGF, the other day on the radio pregame, Kasten said it could last 45 minutes to an hour.

Sect. 506, I hate the Phoolies fans most of all. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!

---

What do you guys know about the ceremony after the game? How long are we looking at? Any surprises? Worth staying for shirts off their backs? I am thinking the trip from RFK to FedEx is doable, but wanna see the ceremony

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 20, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

You know, as annoying as the Foolies were tonight, I have to say that I'm a bit stunned. The Mets blew it again. Another David Wright error. What a disaster. The Nats are playing a heck of a lot better than the Mets.

Also, I'd like to point out that Wagner got the night off because the Nats wore him out so much on Wednesday. We may not have gotten them then, but we got them tonight.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 20, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey! I just thought of this...

Willie Randolph didn't trot Billy Wagner out tonight, because he was tired from throwing to the Nats. But Manny sure as heck would have sent Chad out there if we had been in the same situation. I remember earlier in the year doing that analysis of Chad, Papelbon, and Wagner and finding that Wagner had either one or none back-to-back save opportunities.

Does Billy not blow saves because Willie doesn't let him put it on the line? Is Chad just the Hardest Working Closer in the Show (business, ow!)? Wagner might not blow so many saves, but how many times does he go out there less than well-rested?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 21, 2007 12:07 AM | Report abuse

I can't BELIEEVE the Mets lost tonight. I am in no way a Mets fan, but still...

Back to Nats-Phils, I was ready to blame Church for not getting to that Utley fly ball that turned into a triple in the first and second-guess Manny for not putting Nook's fast feet in CF.

But then Churchie hits that sweet, 2-run double in the 2nd inning, and all is square. The only ones to blame are our bullpen. The Phillies' bullpen absolutely came up huge tonight. Dangit...

Posted by: Juan-John | September 21, 2007 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, could tell Ayala didn't have it from his first pitch. Muñoz also didn't have his stuff tonight. Both have get out of jail free cards from past performances, so we'll let it go and hope the Phillies are too tired to pitch effectively tomorrow.

Sorry, Jason.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 21, 2007 12:28 AM | Report abuse

My streak is intact...

I wondered about pinch hitting for Bergmann, too... but I think that ultimately it was the right decision to leave him in. Not that I could tell from where I was sitting, but that last pitch looked like a ball, just from his reaction, and the reaction of the vast majority of people with better seats than mine. How different would the game have been if Bergmann walked instead of struck out??

A perfect outcome for tomorrow: Nats win, Marlins lose, Mets win... so I can talk trash with other Nats fans on the Metro, and the Phillies fans can slink home well-spanked.

Posted by: Wigi | September 21, 2007 12:49 AM | Report abuse

i really like having part of a partial season tix pkg. i didn't go as often this year (life got in the way), but there are four of us who split two 41game seats. so i get 10 pair of tix (occasionally 11) a year. that hasn't stopped me from going to other games, like opening day last year or my birthday the first two years (day games both times, how great was that?). but it does let me get tickets less expensively, have a regular spot (which i like), and plan out 10 games a year.

don't think i could do 20 or 41 myself. ok, i know i can't do 20, i had that the first season and sold/gave away tix to more than a few games. but 10 feels just right for me and i'm glad i was able to get into a good group. now i'm just looking forward to finding out where we'll be next year.

Posted by: the other 506 | September 21, 2007 1:09 AM | Report abuse

To Bob L. Head, yes, the thread did take a different direction. Re: run differential, Bill James developed the "pythagorean theorem," which pretty accurately predicts win-loss record based on runs scored and runs against. The Nats far outwon their "predicted" record in their 50-31 start in 2005, then regressed in the 31-50 second half. Some would say predictably given run differential. Look to other sources on the math, a lot of seamheads have fiddled with it.

The 2008 Nats really need to have both more offense and develop better pitching. The new park should affect our offense and defense identically, so if our starting pitching doesn't get dramatically (unrealistically) better we are going to have to really bash the ball. I don't see improvement from the guys on the roster reaching your good guesstimate of needing +150 run differential. So as much as we have become attached to the players, the numbers are pretty stark that we need a lot of new faces. Our team is full of "6, 7, 8 hitters on a good team." We need some legitimate top of the lineup guys.

Posted by: Geezer | September 21, 2007 4:20 AM | Report abuse

Love it, Sect. 506!

---

Hey! I just thought of this...

Willie Randolph didn't trot Billy Wagner out tonight, because he was tired from throwing to the Nats. But Manny sure as heck would have sent Chad out there if we had been in the same situation. I remember earlier in the year doing that analysis of Chad, Papelbon, and Wagner and finding that Wagner had either one or none back-to-back save opportunities.

Does Billy not blow saves because Willie doesn't let him put it on the line? Is Chad just the Hardest Working Closer in the Show (business, ow!)? Wagner might not blow so many saves, but how many times does he go out there less than well-rested?

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 21, 2007 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Another reason to think about getting into a season ticket plan: Opening Day. While it's true that the last two ODs did not sell out and anyone could walk up on the day and buy a ticket, this will definitely not be the case next year. If the Nationals cannot sell out Opening Day in a brand new ballpark, then truly the terrorists will have won. Season ticket holders get first shot at buying single-game tickets when sales open up before the season. Half of the 41-game plans and all of the 20-game plans do not include Opening Day. Likewise, many of the full-season and half-season plans that do include Opening Day are split up among groups of people, with some full-season tickets split up as much as eight or nine ways. You can bet that anyone who is a season ticket holder or who splits a plan is going to want to be there the day the new park opens, even though they won't be able to sit in their regular season seat. So take the number of season tickets sold and multiply it by three or four or five and you'll have the number of Opening Day tickets that will be snapped up before single-game sales to the general public open up. The stadium only holds what, 41,000? Sell 15,000 season ticket plans and you probably have at least 45,000 people represented there who will want to be there the day the new park opens. Do the math. If you want to be in the new park on Opening Day, you're either going to have to be a season ticket holder yourself, a good friend of one, or willing to pay scalper prices.

Another reason to be a season ticket holder: First dibs on playoff tickets. But next year will probably be just a bit too soon for that one to be a factor in anyone's plans, no?

Posted by: Section 419 | September 21, 2007 8:01 AM | Report abuse

TimB said: "Anyhow, attendance is Lerner's problem. If he wants to make money, he'll field a good team."

I don't see the Lerners spending any of their money for anything. Au contraire.

I believe Kasten in his reporter roundtable the other day said that the amount of money the Lerners will spend each year on rebuilding will be dependent on the revenues received from the previous season's attendance. Meaning, since 2007 attendance is way down, there's not much in the till to spend for 2008. (This helps explain why Kasten threw cold water on the free agent route.) So what happens in 2009 regarding free agents, etc., will depend on whether another mediocre team in '08 will draw 2.5+ million at the new digs. If the Nats do draw that many fans in 2008, will they draw more in 2009? 2010? I.e., become a "big market" team?

Time will tell. I can understand why Boswell is hedging his bets by keeping the Orioles in his sights.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 21, 2007 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Told ya, Sect. 506. Your RFK posting is on p. E2 of today's paper, albeit with some editing.

Otherwise, there's good news and bad news for the sports section. Good news: baseball made the front page (if below the fold). Bad news: it's a feature on Jimmy Rollins (which I did not read). Look for the gamer and other Nats stuff on p. E9. Sigh. Guess that Sheinin stories outrank Svrluga stories.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 21, 2007 8:26 AM | Report abuse

A snippet from one of the OPs (attaboy, Zimm! attaboy, Lerners!):

Yesterday, fans might have noticed a stair in Section 533 that suddenly has been painted red. The significance? That's where Ryan Zimmerman's Aug. 4 home run landed, the only ball to reach the 500 level since baseball returned in 2005.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 21, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I agree with theraph about season tickets, pros vs cons. I've been on both Plan A and Plan B this year (and 40 games a year has frankly been too many for me). It's been nice having the same seats. Most of the other benefits have been negligible, for me at least. Sure, I can see getting first dibs to Opening Day and playoffs, but otherwise, I miss getting tickets as the whim occurs and the schedule allows (and as the promotion beckons. Though there have been precious few of those this year). I like what the Os do - they offer mini-plans, like 6 Sunday games, or other such offers.

Posted by: samantha7 | September 21, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

506, congrats on making the .35 center.

Good call, Natsfan1a, maybe Barry took the cue.

Geezer, I've been saying the same thing about 6-7-8 (in fact, my post on this made the paper on Tuesday).

And Ed, you're probably right about being a year early -- it's hard to see how we get there next year.

As much noise has been made previously about adding payroll and putting a competitive team in the new park next year, it's looking more like they will rely on the new park itself to draw fans in 2008, and then use the cash generated from that to increase payroll in 2009.

And I'm OK with that.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 21, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I think Manny blew the game last night on two fronts:

1) replacing Ayala with Munoz. I understand that Ayala didn't have his 'A' stuff, but the Phils were bringing up to the plate a left-handed backup catcher to pinch hit, Pete LaForest (BTW Barry: in your gamer you wrote that they brought in Coste to hit when in fact it was LaForest). By bringing in Munoz, Acta allowed Charlie Manuel to bring in a right handed batter to pinch hit for the pinch hitter. And everyone should know that he'd bring in Jayson Werth at this point, a much more dangerous hitter than Pete LaForest. If you want to take Ayala out at that point (I personally think you leave him in there for one more batter), fine. Just play the odds and bring in Saul or Schroder or some other righty just to keep the better matchup against the light-hitting LaForest.

2) Having Batista hit for Fick in the 7th. I would have brought in Maxwell at this point. He has as much (if not more) power as Batista PLUS he's MUCH FASTER! What happens: Batista grounds into the inning-ending DP.

BTW, that pitch to Bergmann was a ball. He should have walked, we should have scored a run, and who knows what would have happened after that. Ump's strike zone was all over the place last night.

Today's another game. Go get 'em Hill! Give us our first complete game of the year!

Posted by: e | September 21, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Bob L., congrats on your E section appearance, too.

samantha and others who've mentioned it, I'd be up for a mini-plan, too. Wish they'd offer them earlier in the season. By the time they came out with one this year, I'd already put my own together (bought the tix at the stadium when I was there for other games, thus avoiding the surcharges).

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 21, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

In response to theraph, again, from yesterday afternoon's comments about pricing fans out: I agree. When the new stadium plans were released, I took a look at the seat prices for the new stadium and my wallet took a nosedive into my stomach. I understand having to increase revenue, but still. It really irked me to see the bulk of the better seats priced at mainly corporate levels.

It gets pricey going to games to begin with. However you arrive at the stadium, via car or Metro, there's time and cost involved. Then, maybe you have to eat stadium food. Then, there's the actual time involved being at the game. When I'm not physically at the game, I listen to the games on the radio (and bring my trusty Walkman for quick updates if I'm at another event). At least radio is still free (and just as thrilling for many of the games), and I can do other things during gametime while listening.

Posted by: samantha7 | September 21, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

How many folks here share a ST plan with friends or neighbors, I wonder?

Posted by: Hendo | September 21, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I share one plan with a friend, the other with my dad.

Posted by: samantha7 | September 21, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

81 games, 4 seats, 8 friends.

Posted by: longterm | September 21, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

We haven't done that to date, but I like the idea.

---

How many folks here share a ST plan with friends or neighbors, I wonder?

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 21, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I wonder why my Phillies rant never made the paper?

If you bring your sections to the tailgate, I'll sign them.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 21, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

My 20-game plan works fine for me.

Separate question for you scoring geeks: Last night, when Kearns ostensibly struck out swinging but reached 1st base on a dropped ball by the catcher, is there a shorthand symbol for that, or do you just put a "K" with maybe an asterisk and put a description in your "notes" section?

Posted by: Juan-John | September 21, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

My buddy and I were talking yesterday on the Metro ride home about ways to increase Nats attendance... and the solution that we came upon was essentially to hit the Reset button on ticket prices, then capturing the market and slowly taking advantage of the interest generated to both build fan support and generate steady income for the team.

So, the plan goes:
Step 1: Have one or multiple games where the tickets to at least the upper deck are absolutely, 100% free. First-come, first-serve. In DC, just like in many places, two types of things are popular: things that are free, and things that other people are going to (making it seem competitive or popular, which can be strangely attractive - i.e., American Idol, which persists for no other reason).

When you offer something completely free, thousands and thousands and thousands of people are going to show up. The Lerners will still make money that day because the lower bowl will still sell money-making tickets (mostly being STH and corporate seats anyway) and a completely full stadium will eat a TON of food (that has absurd mark-ups... this should be addressed as well).

Do this once or twice, market the experience to everybody and win the hearts of DC in person. People that get in should hopefully love the experience, and people that don't get in will really want to get in the next time.

Step 2: Graduate the prices for the upper deck to just a couple dollars per ticket for the next 20 games. Continue to hook your audience and build 41,000 fans that will come back. Again, the Lerners will reap immense long-term benefits from this developed fan base, and will still profit in the short-term from vastly increased food revenue and corporate seats.

Step 3: Tier the pricing similar (although cheaper) than what the Lerners have actually proposed. Introduce a range of pricing for the upper deck for most desirable seats and less desirable seats. However, by all means, maintain at least one or more sections where people can get in for at least as cheap as they can at RFK (5$ seats). If people know they can get in for cheap and come to a great experience with a rocking crowd, interest will remain high.

Pair this all with an improving product on the field (and by all objective measures, we ARE improving), and by golly, we may be in business.

Okay, so this was one of our many thoughts... but seemed like a decent way to generate immense interest without having to sacrifice too much on their part.

Ultimately, every empty seat is lost opportunity for the Lerners. Even if they charge just a single penny on an empty seat, they make more money than they otherwise would have. And the people that spend that penny to get in, will spend many more dollars at the game on food and other entertainment items (programs, memorabilia, teamwear, etc.).

Posted by: faNATic | September 21, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Sect. 506, will do! The Phillies rants were awesome...

---

I wonder why my Phillies rant never made the paper?

If you bring your sections to the tailgate, I'll sign them.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 21, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Juan-John, I'd probably go with K and WP (at least, judging from what the radio guys said).

---

Separate question for you scoring geeks: Last night, when Kearns ostensibly struck out swinging but reached 1st base on a dropped ball by the catcher, is there a shorthand symbol for that, or do you just put a "K" with maybe an asterisk and put a description in your "notes" section?

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 21, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

faNATic, interesting brainstorming session. I seem to recall that Bill Veeck treated underprivileged folks to free seats on occasion, but perhaps I'm misremembering. Love his autobiography (as recommended by Sect. 502 on this blog) but REALLY wish it had an index.

---

Step 1: Have one or multiple games where the tickets to at least the upper deck are absolutely, 100% free. First-come, first-serve. In DC, just like in many places, two types of things are popular: things that are free, and things that other people are going to (making it seem competitive or popular, which can be strangely attractive - i.e., American Idol, which persists for no other reason).

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 21, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see Sheinin thinks yet another player from the opposing team is more compelling to write about than any player on our team. Where are the long profiles from Sheinin telling us all about any of the new additions and call-ups to the Nats? Since Barry only gets space for the gamer and the puny Notes, his hands are apparently (and unfortunately) tied. Pathetic, just pathetic.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | September 21, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Barry's the scrappy underdog who writes with a lot of heart.

Posted by: Barry's mom | September 21, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Thx, natsfan1a!

New post up...

Posted by: Juan-John | September 21, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I wonder why my Phillies rant never made the paper?

If you bring your sections to the tailgate, I'll sign them.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 21, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

The Phillies week: Sunday: finish sweeping Mets; Monday, almost lose 12 run lead to Cardinals, but win; Tuesdsday, beat cards in the bottom of the 14th, get to within 1 1/2 of 1st; Wednesday, lose by 1 in the bottom of the 10th; Thursday-come from 4 runs behind to win against Nats. Talk about the heart of a champion, honoring the game, etc.! And how does Peter Angelos feel when he looks up the road and sees Pat Gillick's team in the thick of the pennant race for the second year in a race, the same Pat Gillick he fired? Probably the same as he feels when listening to Jon Miller broadcast ESPN's Sunday night baseball. And the Phillies fans were passionate but fun! What a treat to see meaningful September ball, c/o Pat Gillick!

Posted by: flynnie | September 21, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed the Nats are not going to keep Bob Carpenter. Anyone know why?

Posted by: Section 406 | September 21, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

i think you misunderstand how partial season tix work, 419.

all 41 game plans get opening day. they split up the seats (from my understanding) into 41, 20, and 20. that makes 81 home games on a seat, a 41 game plan (equivalent of two 20s + opening day), and two 20s.

Posted by: the other 506 | September 21, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

the other 506 said "i think you misunderstand how partial season tix work, 419.

all 41 game plans get opening day. they split up the seats (from my understanding) into 41, 20, and 20. that makes 81 home games on a seat, a 41 game plan (equivalent of two 20s + opening day), and two 20s."

You're probably right about that. I have a 20 game plan, so all I remember for sure is that neither of the 20-game plans this year included Opening Day. But I think my point about there being a lot of people who share plans and will want to buy extra OD tix because they're not the STH of record on their plan is still quite valid.

Posted by: Section 419 | September 22, 2007 12:03 AM | Report abuse

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