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Nationals lineup

Everyone start to panic: Dmitri Young not playing tonight. He's 3 for his last 18 and his average is down to .330 for the first time since Aug. 1.

Washington:
Lopez -- 6
Belliard -- 4
Zimmerman -- 5
Kearns -- 9
Church -- 8
Pena -- 7
Schneider -- 2
Fick -- 3
Redding -- 1

Church also gets what seems to be a rare start these days, and Lopez moved into the leadoff hole. We'll see if it brings a sweep.

Marlins lineup is now in:
Ramirez -- 6
Uggla -- 4
Hermida -- 9
Cabrera -- 5
Willingham -- 7
Jacobs -- 3
Ross -- 8
Olivo -- 2
Mitre -- 1

So this is fascinating. As Ross Detwiler was playing long toss and getting ready for a bullpen session with Randy St. Claire -- which has now commenced -- Jesus Flores emerged from teh dugout and was followed closely by Pat Corrales and Nilson Robledo, one of the bullpen catchers. Can you guess what happened next? Yep, Corrales started working with Flores on catching pop-ups behind the plate. Robledo's hitting them, which has to be one of the hardest things to do in baseball.

I'll get you any updates from the clubhouse.


By Barry Svrluga  |  September 5, 2007; 2:05 PM ET
 
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Next: Position by position: Third base

Comments

Church's last start he was 4/5, including a double, so why not?

Posted by: tomterp | September 5, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Back on Schneider/Flores:

I heard a National League GM say that the Nats have only four players on their roster who are not easily replaceable: Zimmerman, Cordero, Rauch, and... Schneider. He said without question, Schneider is the best game caller in MLB. That contribution is difficult to replicate.

So much of a catcher's defense is hidden and intangible to the average fan. I found this expert's opinion very illuminating on this issue.

Posted by: #4 | September 5, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Where art thou Larry Broadway and Josh Whitesell?

If it were Lannan or Hanrahan pitching I think Fick would be batting 9th, I think Manny would bat him 10th if he could.

Posted by: estuartj | September 5, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Barry's parting shot in the chat concerned WMP's strikeouts.

Now, you know how I get: Strikeouts are not indicative of production, contact hitters hit into double plays, etc.

A better indicator of production is OBP. Which, for Pena, is .293 this season. Ow.

You want another statistic? Pena hasn't taken a walk since August 20. That's 13 games without a base on balls. Ow again.

I sturdily maintain that strikeouts by themselves are not all-indicative. But in WMP's case, by golly, we know where they come from (viz.: plate indiscipline). If he ever loses his power stroke, he'll be the Weapon of Self-Destruction.

Posted by: Hendo | September 5, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

If you take WMP's HRs and SOs per at bat and extrapolate it out for a whole season here (say the same number of ABs as Austin Kearns) what would his totals for each be?

I'd figure this out myself, but I'm on my blackberry in Houston today...

Posted by: estuartj | September 5, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Good call, estuartb, as Kearns has a fair walk rate (about one every ten trips).

Kearns has 57 bases on balls and 86 strikeouts in 572 plate appearances.

Pena has 17 BBs and 73 Ks in 229 PAs.

Extrapolating Pena and comparing to Kearns:

Pena-extrap: 42 BB, 182 K
Kearns: 57 BB, 86 K

Say "ow" again, kids.

Posted by: Hendo | September 5, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

There was a comment last night by Carpenter that WMP's hit in the 9th was more... I don't remember the term, but, to summarize, not very Wily Mo Pena-like... as in... hit to the opposite field... contact hitter.

Can't some of that be taught? He doesn't have to swing for the fences on every pitch...

Posted by: Wigi | September 5, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

But what about the dingers? Also, I'm only interested in what WMP has done in DC, not riding the pine in bean town.

I think I remember that it took WMP 150+ ABs to get 5 HRs in Boston and only 48 in Washington.

If you take that HR/AB ratio with Kearns ABs you get 52 home runs.

Posted by: estuartj | September 5, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

But what about the dingers? Also, I'm only interested in what WMP has done in DC, not riding the pine in bean town.

I think I remember that it took WMP 150+ ABs to get 5 HRs in Boston and only 48 in Washington.

If you take that HR/AB ratio with Kearns ABs you get 52 home runs.

Posted by: estuartj | September 5, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

If you have him cut down on his swing, he loses the one thing he does well.

You get him to work on his pitch identification so he learns to lay off the slop, letting him mash the few fastballs he sees.

If you turn him into a singles hitter, you've got Nook Logan.

Posted by: Chris | September 5, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

The thing that is most telling about WMP's key hit last night is that he said he was expecting a fastball, but instead got a slider and took the pitch the other way.

Situational hitting is very key, a similair situation accured a few weeks ago when zim got down 0-2 and choked up and battled till he was able to pop a single over the SS and bat in a couple runs.

The thing that makes me most hopeful about WMP is that he was in the worst possible position for him as a hitter, trying to break into the starting lineup by hitting Homers in the worst park imaginable for him (a shot off the bullpen wall for a home run at RFK is a bounce back single off the Green Monster in Boston).

If he can be more patient, knowing that he has the support of the organization, then he might cut some SOs, get a few more walks, but most importantly take what the pitcher gives him to get more singles and doubles.

We shall see how that works out, but he looks a lot more comfortable in DC (and the NL) than he ever did in Boston.

Posted by: estuartj | September 5, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Ah, estuartb, you did say HRs originally. I wasn't paying attention. Let's try again.

Kearns (in 572 plate appearances): 12 HR, 86 SO, 57 BB.
Pena (57 DC PAs extrapolated to 572): 50 HR, 151 SO, 30 BB.

That sample size is a little small to extrapolate from, but does emphasize the one dimension we're depending on, power. Heaven help Wily Mo (and us) if that dimension goes away.

Posted by: Hendo | September 5, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

WMP is reminding me of Bo Jackson... just CRUSHING physical ability. When the man connects it's no-doubt.

I think if he intentionally takes more during his early-inning ABs we may see a marked improvement in all his numbers. He can take some junk early and maybe get a walk (yay OBP!) but, more importantly, make the opposing pitcher/team think that throwing breaking stuff out of the zone will not get them anything.

Than crush the first-pitch fastball that comes in the 8th into the yellow seats.

(yeah, if it were that easy....)

Posted by: mrm0to | September 5, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

50 HRs and 150 SOs isn't half bad. Wilky used tpo have that many punchouts and not 1/5th the dingers.

Posted by: estuartj | September 5, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Chris here.

Teach WMP to identify pitches so he knows when (not) to swing, and what to look for. I don't get the feeling that he goes up to the plate with a plan.

Also, to continue what estuartj is saying: WMP needs to be able to control the game (hit 'em where he wants 'em) instead of having the game control him (I was looking fastball but I was given a slider).

Posted by: i hate walks | September 5, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

If you give Fick 604 at bats rather than his 151, he gets 7 HR and 28 RBI. For a 1st baseman (or anything else) that is beyond weak.

What's wrong with looking at Josh Whitesell for spots like tonight, when Dmitri is rested? He has good power and a .425 OBP at AA. Can he be any worse than Fick?

Posted by: Ed | September 5, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I think WMPs defense is a reincarnation of Lonnie Smith circa 1991. And if I recall correctly, they referred to him as possessing an "on ice skates" grace.

Posted by: theraph | September 5, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I posted this in a previous thread, but it was moments before the chat started, so I'm sure it was overlooked. I really think it's something people need to realize, though, when discussing the parking situation at the new park. Especially if you live in DC (or very very close) and the Metro is easy for you. If it is, you're the minority...

----------------
JennX: I prefer to drive to the game for several reasons:

Metro Parking: $3.25
Round trip per person: $6.00 (approx)
Total cost for 2 people: $15.25
Trip time: 45 minutes mimimum each way, plus driving time to and from the metro stop. Total travel time: 2 hours minimum.

Cost for Parking at the game: $15.00+ gas
Trip time: 30 minutes average each way. Total travel time: 1 hour on average.

So, for what is maybe a couple extra dollars in gas, I can go to and from the game in air-conditioned comfort in my car that does not smell like an armpit, I do not have either someone's armpit or butt in my face, I can listen to the post-game coverage on the radio, it takes far less travel time, plus I can tailgate on the weekends.

To me, it's a no-brainer.

----------------------------
WHY would anyone prefer to fight traffic and gridlock to drive to a game? Not to mention the limitations this poses on your enjoyment of the fine local microbrews that I pray to jeebus the new stadium concessions will offer.

Frankly, I hope all this talk about parking problems has the positive effect of encouraging all who can get here by other means to leave the Escalades at home/the Metro parking lot and take a nice relaxing ride to and from the game.

Posted by: JennX

Posted by: Matt | September 5, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I heard on NFA that Whitesell is still nursing a sore back that had him on the DL. There might be issues with sending Broadway packing now that his contract is up if we put him back on the 40 man.

I don't think either of them are on the organizations radar (deservedly or not). Since Whitesell didn't get invited to the fall instructional league either, and Bowden's comments (or lack of them) as relayed by Barry.

If Josh can put up the same numbers in AAA that he did this year in Harrisburg he might be hard to ignore, but since Bowden didn't bring him into the fold (or play for him in the Cincy org.) He will have a tough time getting the notice and support he'll need from the organization to break into the majors.

Posted by: estuartj | September 5, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Chris sez "If you turn him into a singles hitter, you've got Nook Logan."

Well, actually you've got TWO Nook Logans, crammed into one outsized body.

Posted by: Section 419 | September 5, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

estuartj,

Thanks. I saw that NFA comment about Whitesell's back. However, he started and played in Harrisburg's last four games, got some hits, drove in runs. I didn't go back further than that.

Whitesell may not be any kind of answer, but my only point is that we have learned already what Fick can do, so let's see someone who at least has had a good year in AA.

Posted by: Ed | September 5, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm right there with you Ed, I've been saying we should bring up either Broadway or Whitesell for over a month.

I'm surprised they didn't put Batista or Belliard at 1st, or maybe even Schneider so Flores can get another start behind the plate.

Fick is about as useful with a bat as King is at a weight watchers convention.

Posted by: estuartj | September 5, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Matt's point about driving to games is well taken. I like driving, too: it takes me about 35 minutes (from Silver Spring) as opposed to an hour, and I can't put the top down on the Metro car.

However, we're all going to have to adjust some next season if we're not to destroy one another with road rage. So I'm planning to try each of the following in 2008:

1. Drive to Silver Spring Station, park there and take Metro. Parking is free on weekends. Does involve a train change, Red to Green, but less of a delay next year since I won't have to ride all the way in to Metro Center and all the way out again as I do now.

2. Drive to Fort Totten from Silver Spring and take Metro. Straight shot on the Green Line from there.

3. Drive to RFK from Silver Spring and shuttle over to Nats Park.

4. Drive straight to Nats Park. (Maybe not in 2008, though. And if option 3 works, this one might well be off the table.)

If we can all adjust our preferences just a bit, we needn't subject South Capitol Street to traffic meltdown -- and we can keep ourselves and our fellow fans (may their tribe increase!) cooler and happier.

Posted by: Hendo | September 5, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Before I moved to Silver Spring, I lived in College Park. And it literally took me 15 mins to hop on Kenilworth and get to the parking lot. Metro time is well over that, close to an hour each way.

Hendo's estimates are correct. However going to my local metro stop on the way home, Wheaton, takes almost an 1.5 hours after games. I would rather fight traffic in a car for 45 mins than fight traffic in my face for twice that time.

It seems that those coming from VA have an equal time split, if not favoring the metro. But that isn't the case for those in Eastern MoCo or PG counties.

Posted by: theraph | September 5, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Matt sez "So, for what is maybe a couple extra dollars in gas, I can go to and from the game in air-conditioned comfort in my car that does not smell like an armpit, I do not have either someone's armpit or butt in my face, I can listen to the post-game coverage on the radio, it takes far less travel time, plus I can tailgate on the weekends.

To me, it's a no-brainer."

Sure, but you won't have this option next season in the new park. Even once all the parking places in the plan are perfectly in place, once all the traffic improvements that can be done are made, and once the ballpark district is fully built into what it will one day be, you won't have this option available to you - because that's not how the new park was conceived and designed. It's a paradigm shift from RFK. Parking at the new stadium will be for premium box holders (the garages right next to the stadium that all last year's controversy was about), and anyone else who wants to park will do so in commercial garages sread throughout the ballpark district. Quick in/quick out just will not happen if you insist on driving to the park. You can get quick in/quick out with spread-out surface lots, like RFK, but not with garages. But if you take Metro, you might be able to achieve quick in/quick out. Find a Metro station near your house with parking. Drive there and park, then use Metro for your final approach. This is an urban ballpark, not a suburban one like RFK. You'd better get used to that, 'cause it ain't gonna change, just so you can still drive to games. That's also a no-brainer.

Posted by: Section 419 | September 5, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Eh! Natscan, report in. What are you up to?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 5, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I think someone who's 3 for 18 needs a break needs a little break. And a lot of those outs have been ugly outs!

Posted by: Paul | September 5, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

To Section 419's point (and they must be a genius since they sit in the same section as I), remember all the hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing when the Bullets/Capitals moved downtown from picturesque Landover with the sea of parking that surrounded the Capital Centre/USAir Arena. How did that work out?

Posted by: Dick | September 5, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree that the parking issue is way overrated. I've driven to most of the games this year because with the smaller crowds it is easy to get in and out. That said, I'll happily take Metro starting next year.

Bottom line is if the Nats start winning, they'll draw fans (and maybe appropriate Post coverage) regardless.

Posted by: bdrube | September 5, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I second Sect. 506's ping (am trying to catch up with postings after playing hooky with natsfans 1b and 1c over the long weekend).

---

Eh! Natscan, report in. What are you up to?

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 5, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Appears tailgaiters will have to continue going to RFK and then bus or metro from there after partying. I wonder if the lots will open earlier the allow fans to get there early, grill, party, whatever, before catching the bus or walking to the metro stop to go to the game. Seems this might be a great weekend game option.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | September 5, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

BTW, the ninth inning last night was realy cool, but one thing no one has talked about was WMP scoring form 1st. As I watched him round 3rd, I kept thinking "Man, I would not want to be the catcher trying to tag him out at home plate!" He had a head of steam on him! His slide finished OUTSIDE of the batter's circle.

If he could be taught patience and situational "swinging" he might really improve his overall plate discipline. Both he AND Austin Kearns swing WAY TOO HARD at third strike pitches. Someone talked about Zim chocking up and battling the third strike earlier. Kearns looks like he is about to fall over when he misses a swinging third strike. He looks like every swing is for the fences. Someone needs to teach these guys that contact is more important with 2 strikes.

Posted by: roman1735 | September 5, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I think Pena has decent ABs. It always seems like the count is 2-1, 2-2, 3-2. Sure he takes some hacks at ugly pitches, but he can also identify the ones just ouside the zone. He mostly gets fooled on breaking stuff done and away. He can identify the stuff up and in really well.

Posted by: Andrew S. | September 5, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

1. I have one 10 minutes away.
2. I do, if by "final approach" you mean "45 minute ride"
3. Thanks Dad.
4. Ok, Dad. I mean, yes sir.
5. There's no need to be snippy.
-----------------------------
Find a Metro station near your house with parking.
Drive there and park, then use Metro for your final approach.
This is an urban ballpark, not a suburban one like RFK.
You'd better get used to that, 'cause it ain't gonna change, just so you can still drive to games.
That's also a no-brainer.

Posted by: Section 419

Posted by: Matt | September 5, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I have every intention of using the Metro 99% of the time next year. I was simply explining to JennX and whoever else was listening why some of us prefer driving over using the Metro, which is exactly what she asked.

Posted by: Matt | September 5, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Not for nothing, but Sergio Mitre pulled in the bottom of the 1st after giving up three runs, two of them walked in? Yeah, and it's the Nationals who are so desperately bad.

Posted by: Atlanta | September 5, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

At this rate, Nats will come up 3 runs short of a Texas 30.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | September 5, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Whenever I am there, I take Metro... The last couple times, I've taken to walking to Union Station from RFK... which makes sense if there's a big crowd, but not if it is small. All of this makes sense because I don't get a car when I am there (I have plenty of family around to shuttle me around, or lend me a car).

I'll probably drive to RFK once or twice at the last homestand.

Next year, it'll be a no-brainer. Metro.

As for today's game, I am posting this as Mitre hits the showers... and I believe the Marlins are a lot closer to the team that everyone thought the Nats would be this year, than the Nats are.

Posted by: Wigi | September 5, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

For us in Arlington, the metro ride from East Falls Church is about double the time it takes to drive (in rush hour, its about even). My family usually uses the metro, meeting at the game from work and riding home together. But on weekends, we sometimes drive. Metro is cheaper for one or two people, but more than that and it's cheaper to drive. Next year though, we'll definitely use the metro (we've been spoiled by not having to change lines, which I am not looking forward to).

I loved the crowd's reaction to Maxwell's fly out.

Posted by: Kelly | September 5, 2007 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Kelly,
care to enlighten those of us far from home and without DirecTV? Also, Barry! Live blog and tell us what's up with Redding's elbow.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

why does acta let d'jimenez out of the dugout // 2 - 32 as ph?? That's pathetic...............

Posted by: joe m. | September 5, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Cardiac Cordero has taken the field.

Posted by: Ed | September 5, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Rumor has it, and I don't know why, Earl Weaver is listening to the Nats game (would you be listening to an Oriole blowout) and just lit a cigarette in his nervousness.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | September 5, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Charlie returns to form with the bang-zoom and another curly W in the books. How sweet it is...GO NATS...STAY HOT /// Undefeated in September continues

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | September 5, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Nat's win again! Great game! (Aren't they all?)

Posted by: Nick from Germantown | September 5, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

First off, great win tonight. The bullpen is simply dominant. Sometimes it turns off, but for the most part our bullpen has had its way with the league. That is so awesome.

Second off, I love seeing the Nats in the game. I tune in when/where I can, and it seems every time, even if the Nats are down, they are close behind, and making it a good game. That's just professional playing on the part of all those Nationals that ESPN thinks don't deserve the title.

Third off, Go Kearnsy! Way to heat back up!

and lastly, (Barry, please chime in on this if you know anything) would the Nats be willing to trade Felipe to ... the Orioles? Last I heard (which was some time ago) the O's wanted to move Tejada to 3rd, which would leave them on SS shy of a team. The O's are notorious for making ill-advised, high priced acquisitions. So Felipe seems right up their alley, no?

The reason I want him to go to the O's is, say what you like, but they've drafted some good arms. I would love to see the next Bedard come out and destroy them in Interleague Play while a sullen Felipe goes 0fer.

Anyone in on this with me?

Posted by: NattyDelite! | September 5, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

When did this become NationalsParkingBlog.com? Cro. Leave that stuff to Boz. This is a Barry Blog. And the good stuff is, five Curly Ws in a row (I am on record as predicting seven). Another great job by the 'pen. Another smart AB by WMP, with appropriate cheering from Lenny Harris, about whom we need more coaching info (Barry, please? What about him accusing now resident phenom Maxwell of "stinking" while J-Max was on the wire??)

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 5, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Well Bob L. Head, I surely hope your prediction of 7 in a row is correct and them some, but remember, they started August out with 5 wins in a row also. Just sayin, I hope history does not repeat itself in that regard for game #6.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | September 5, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

With Redding out for 7-10 days (1-2 start) who goes on the hill in his place on Tuesday?

Lannan? Bacsik? DETWILER?!!!

Posted by: estiuartj | September 5, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

SCNF, my "prediction" of 7 in a row is merely my penitence for going on vacation last week when they lost as many straight, and a product of a typical baseball fan's (or player's) superstition that a streak can be attributed to one's presence, or absence, or eating chicken for dinner, or wearing lingerie and breathing out of your eyeballs like a dragon lizard.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 5, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I nominate Bob L. Head to replace Screech next year in the new digs.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | September 5, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

estiuartj: Manny said on NatsExtra that Bacsik will be in the rotation.

Posted by: Nick from Germantown | September 5, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

SCNF, I would be honored, but Susan Sarandon would be the one to advise on a better candidate ... see Bull Durham.

Posted by: b | September 5, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Last "b" post from me ...

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 5, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bob L. Head: I know what you mean about our superstitions! My Mom, who is 84 yrs/young and never misses a Nat's game on MASN, calls me when things aren't going well in the game for the Nat's. She always says things like: "Well, we can send him to AA." or "He needs some bench time." Me, I'm just the opposite. Even if the Nat's are behind by 5 or 6 runs and it's the 7th inning, I tell her: "Now is when we get to them. We'll score in the next 3 innings and win this thing." Funny how my superstition is always state positives and hers is to state negatives. Both of us think it's funny and laugh at ourselves, but won't change.

Posted by: Nick from Germantown | September 5, 2007 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Kelly notes: "I loved the crowd's reaction to Maxwell's fly out."

And I was glad to be among the rejoicing, even as I wondered (yes, a bit smirkily): How many fans in how many towns would cheer a kid for sending a long fly ball to die in his first major-league at-bat?

That ball might not have died in Nats Park, by the way. Let's hope J-Max gives us more cause to rejoice there some time in 2008.

Posted by: Hendo | September 5, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Bob L. Head analyzes superstition: ". . . my 'prediction' of 7 in a row is merely my penitence for going on vacation last week when they lost as many straight . . ."

Indeed. Imagine how I felt in India as the end of August was melting down out West. Plus I never posted a question to Barry's chat last week, which made me feel worse because I just love to imagine the look on his (or his moderator's) face when they see a post from Bangalore or some such place and wonder who the hell follows baseball in such a corner of the world.

Then again, I think Barry and the rest of you had been clued in to my whereabouts. (And might not have suffered greatly for my absence.)

In any event, it's good to be home. Oh you Nats!

Posted by: Hendo | September 5, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Kelly sez "Next year though, we'll definitely use the metro (we've been spoiled by not having to change lines, which I am not looking forward to)."

I Metro in from Dunn Loring, which is two stops further out than you. I don't find it all that bad. Next year to avoid the changing lines problem, I'm thinking I'll take the Orange Line out to Capitol South and walk from there to the stadium. I checked it out early this season one Saturday when I went down to take a look at the new park under construction. It's not all that bad a walk - about 10-15 minutes. The neighborhood along the way is pretty barren, and I guess that might be a concern after dark. But I figure I won't be the only one making that walk after games. If it turns out I am, I might have to rethink the plan and get on at the Navy Yard and change at L'Enfant Plaza. I guess we'll see next April!

Posted by: Section 419 | September 5, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey Hendo- I think WMP is making some strides working with Coach Harris. Last night a single to right, tonight a single up the middle to score runs. Maybe he's "trainable".

Posted by: Nick from Germantown | September 5, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Also, Nick, WMP took a walk tonight. There may indeed be hope.

Posted by: Hendo | September 5, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Agreed on this becoming the Nationals Parking Blog, and that its a bit of a moot point since those things are more or less set in stone. Great point on this being a paradigm shift by moving to a more downtown/urban location, we'll deal with it. I've always taken the metro to the game, I'll have to admit, its not THAT crowded on the metro.

By 2009, I plan on hitting the bars in the Half St. corridor after the game until everyone else goes home, then take a nice empty metro ride home!

Posted by: G-town | September 5, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Nick --

84 and kickin it leaves nothing to criticize, but on the flipside, my 100-year old grandma is still an optimitic Packers fan, and that's nothing to shake a stick at either. To each his or her own, but in my book, take the glass half full.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 5, 2007 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Department of self-effacement:

Y'all know that I have been shamelessly encrushed on Radhames Liz since the first time I saw him pitch at double-A Bowie, striking out twelve of our hapless Harrisburg Senators.

Liz' major league numbers are something else again. In ten and two-thirds innings over three appearances for the Orioles, he's coughed up eleven earned runs, while striking out nine and walking eight.

Mayhap I better be content with the staff we've got. (By the way, how 'bout that Albaladejo kid striking out the side in the fourth?)

Posted by: Hendo | September 5, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

My first time seeing Albaladejo (awesome name but I gotta keep practicing it) and he was smokin'. As was Rauch. Sparse but lively crowd tonight. Wily Mo waved at my little group behind left field, so that was my highlight of the night.
I also loved the Maxwell fly-out cheers. That was fantastic--so supportive and knowledgable of the crowd to do that.
Did any of you see Mitre punching the wall after he got pulled? He was not happy.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 6, 2007 12:13 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut salutes our strikeout specialists: "My first time seeing Albaladejo (awesome name but I gotta keep practicing it) and he was smokin'. As was Rauch."

Just keep singing "Al-ba-la-de-jo" to the tune of Guantanamera, and you'll have it down in no time.

Now, a query for Barry (or anybody): Has there been any other occasion since the Nats got to town that two of our pitchers have struck out the side in separate innings?

Chris Schroder did fan six in a row on one occasion last season. But the Albaladejo-Rauch effort may be without precedent, if memory serves.

Posted by: Hendo | September 6, 2007 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Anybody else think Belly's lost a little weight?

Posted by: NatsNut | September 6, 2007 12:35 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut: Don't know about Bells, but Barry reports in the notebook that Nick Johnson plans to go in for some slimming in the offseason.

If it works, perhaps da Meat can start training at the Johnsons' table and be ready to play LF come opening day 2008. (OK, I know, one thing at a time...)

Posted by: Hendo | September 6, 2007 12:41 AM | Report abuse

My dad just sent me a link to a diary, on BaseballAmerica, of a minor leaguer in the Padres system. You have to read this guy.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/07prospectdiary.html

Posted by: NatsNut | September 6, 2007 1:31 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut: Your dad has good taste. Anyone, let alone a ballplayer, who uses the word "rapscallion" has my vote.

The guy seems to have his head on straight, BTW.

Posted by: Hendo | September 6, 2007 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Thank God after three hours or whatever, it was a win. This town likes action, and I'm wondering whether such a protracted game is capable of attracting new fans?

Next up: Imagine fans next year leaving the ball park at 11 p.m. and strolling through the nearby southeast/Anacostia neighborhoods on their leisurely way to a Metro stop after having a few at a neighborhood bar. Sounds like Inner Harbor stuff, right? Except, have you been in southeast after midnight?

Posted by: JohnR (VA) | September 6, 2007 7:01 AM | Report abuse

JohnR (VA) sez "Next up: Imagine fans next year leaving the ball park at 11 p.m. and strolling through the nearby southeast/Anacostia neighborhoods on their leisurely way to a Metro stop after having a few at a neighborhood bar. Sounds like Inner Harbor stuff, right? Except, have you been in southeast after midnight?"

No, but I have been in Near Southeast (the new ballpark neighborhood) before midnight, only a few short months ago. Judging from your comment, you haven't been there in a long while, if at all. Where are these "neighborhood bars" you speak of? There are as many bars right now in the new ballpark neighborhood as there are in the neighborhood of RFK. Which is to say none. Okay maybe an odd hole-in-the-wall place here or there that I haven't noticed, but certainly no place that anyone is going to go to and linger after a game. You might want to come out of your cocoon every once and a while before you go off spewing your gloom and doom theories, JohnR. Have you even been to RFK, much less the new stadium site, before you go off spouting your negativity? If you have, you'd know that the new stadium next season will have about as much "Inner Harbor" ambience around it as RFK does now. All that is yet to be built at the Navy Yard, and until it is built fans won't be lingering around the stadium neighborhood after the games. They'll be heading home or to bars in Capitol Hill, as they do now after games in RFK. But even though there will be no upscale nightlife yet in the new ballpark neighborhood next year, it's not the den of iniquity that you seem to think it is just because it's in Southeast and across the river from Anacostia. The hodgepodge of businesses and residences that used to be in the ballpark district (which did include a few bars) were all removed before the stadium construction began. That whole area is basically under construction now. It's nothing at all like you portray it to be. You might want to get out of your (VA) cocoon and take a little field trip down there before you start spouting off and revealing just how out of touch you are, y'know?

Posted by: Section 419 | September 6, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Hey 419. Dude, chill. Key word in JohnR(VA)'s post: "Imagine..."

Posted by: NatsNut | September 6, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

We have come a long way since that opening series against the Marlins! Way to go Nats!

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | September 6, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

No love for Fick? If memory serves me right- 2 for 3 (walk, single, double, ground out). WMP is what he is. We all cheered him on in the storied 1st when he (like the mighty Casey) approached the plate with bases loaded. Alas, like the might Casey he... However he did get a walk and the key hit. Hopefully the at bats this season (it appears he will start every game until the end) and Winter ball will allow him to "figure it out." Now the real fun (tests) begin.

Posted by: Sec 417 Row 8 Seat 9 (two more games) | September 6, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Is there any particular reason that a preview for a game 48 hours hence between two college teams that play 1,000 miles from 15th Street is more newsworthy than a game in which: 1) the Nats extended a winning streak, 2) a top player for the Nats suffered what appeared to be a serious injury, and 3) there was an apparent robbery in the stands?

This is how media consipiracy talk gets started...

Posted by: Duh Post | September 6, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Robbery in the stands?

Posted by: G-town | September 6, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Also at the game last night and I sneaked (apparently snuck isn't a word, damn public school grammar "education") down behind the plate on the lower level, only couldn't see the ball, so I moved to the foul pole and screamed at Willingham. Ah the joys of being near the field. I also got drunk and forgot to do my stats analysis, so that will have to wait a few more days, sorry. Does anyone really care about the results anymore?

To the comment about near southeast not being the inner harbor... does anyone remember the "inner harbor" before Camden Yards? The bars will come eventually, that's part of the point of putting the park there.

"Al" looked pretty nasty last night. Let's see more of him. Also one of the Maxwell cheerers, that kid's got some pop. That's why we stood for him, because it was clear he's going to be belting them.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 6, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I noticed a couple positive changes in the in-game entertainment category this past week. Although we couldn't hear it on the stellar sound system, there was a "Know Your Nats" video clip of Austin Kearns telling little personal tidbits about himself. That was kind of cool. Could be really cool when we can actually hear it (really. not being sarcastic).
And last night was a "Make The Call" quiz for the crowd to text message answers with real-time results. Not bad. What did ya'll think of them?

Posted by: NatsNut | September 6, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Hey, rules question: If you can change the pitcher during an at bat, can you change a batter during the at bat?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 6, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I think we may have heard you giving Willingham grief last night, 506. We were sitting nearby in 447 and there weren't many other people making noise.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 6, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't at the game yesterday, so I can't comment on the new in-game entertainment that was introduced. But the most positive change I've noticed in the in-game entertainment lately was at the Labor Day game, when Clint's microphone wasn't working the first time or two he showed up on the big screen. Unfortunately, that change didn't last long. Damn it.

Posted by: Section 419 | September 6, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I like Fick as much as the next guy, but let's be realistic. He is strictly a backup. He has one more year to play to qualify for 10 years and a pension. Either the Nats or someone else will find a place for him (with spots for only 12 position players, someone who can play first, outfield, and catch has a value beyond just stats). After next year, the Nats should be able to find a slot for him within the organization.

On a side issue. I do drive, sometimes, and have noticed some really weird signs along Oklahoma Ave. They read: "No Boarding School facilities in this neighborhood", I think. Can someone explain. I'm relatively well connected to DC issues, but am totally confused on this one.

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 6, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

There's an Oklahoma Avenue?

Posted by: JennX | September 6, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

506 asked "Hey, rules question: If you can change the pitcher during an at bat, can you change a batter during the at bat?"

Even without looking it up, I believe that would have to be a yes. If for no other reason than it's possible for a batter to get hurt and not be able to continue while at the plate, say by fouling a ball off his foot and breaking a bone, or pulling a muscle, or having a heart attack or whatever. There would have to be a mechanism under the rules to allow the game to continue but with a different batter. I believe the new batter would inherit the ball-strike count of the batter who left the game.

Posted by: Section 419 | September 6, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

And the award for Best Commentary on An Opposing Player Having a Temper Tantrum goes to ... Nook Logan, while watching Sergio Mitre trying to yank the dugout fan off the wall: "Man, that fan's been there since 1800 -- it's not going anywhere".

Posted by: joebleux | September 6, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut sez "Hey 419. Dude, chill. Key word in JohnR(VA)'s post: "Imagine..." "

Okay, then, let me rephrase my comment. JohnR(VA), what's your point in asking us to imagine a situation that, if you got out more, you'd know will never actually occur?

Posted by: Section 419 | September 6, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

how does Fick stay on this team next year? only reason he was here this year was because catcher and 1st base were huge question marks. those positions appear much more stable going forward.

Posted by: longterm | September 6, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

So why aren't there more batting/pitching changes in the middle of at bats. Say if Chad goes 3-0 with a man on third and a one run lead, bring in Ayala. Or swap for Wily Mo after he gets two strikes? There must be some limits.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 6, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut polls: "And last night was a 'Make The Call' quiz for the crowd to text message answers with real-time results. Not bad. What did ya'll think of them?"

I think it's a great feature. Makes up for the long-gone DC IQ, and is actually better because it's baseball-related.

The only problem with it is that, with the umpiring crews we're getting lately, one of these days the trivia question will cover a point on which the man in blue has just blown a call. That will not go over well.

Posted by: Hendo | September 6, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

you can't have your pitching staff warming up the entire game waiting for a bad count to come in. it's too random and reactionary. bullpen's perform better in a structured environment where everyone knows their roles and situations. sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don't but the best managers get everyone on the same page.

Posted by: longterm | September 6, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

There aren't more intra-at-bat changes because managers don't like showing up their players. Remember Frank getting upset about yanking Matt LeCroy? And that was just mid-inning, not mid-at-bat.

Posted by: joebleux | September 6, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

i can't imagine how anyone could perform if they felt they only had two strikes to work with instead of three. everyone would be walking on egg shells. good hitters can set up counts in their favor just as good pitchers can. besides, you would use up your bench too fast substiting like that. someone would really have to lose control of a situation to be removed like that.

Posted by: longterm | September 6, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

If I may speak for JohnR,
1) what in the world about "having a few at a neighborhood bar" is so impossible that you are already so bitter about it? Of course there are no bars there NOW, silly goose. Noone need "come out of his coccoon once in awhile" to know that.

2) His whole point was that even if there WERE bars in the neighborhood, he doesn't see the casual strolls after midnight happening cuz it's SCARY in that neighborhood after midnight.


Posted by: NatsNut | September 6, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

506 asks "So why aren't there more batting/pitching changes in the middle of at bats. Say if Chad goes 3-0 with a man on third and a one run lead, bring in Ayala. Or swap for Wily Mo after he gets two strikes? There must be some limits."

There's not more of this kind of stuff because it makes no sense as a strategy. If you bring in a new pitcher because the count is 3-0, even if that pitcher is Walter Johnson there's a good chance his first pitch will be a ball. Likewise, if you bring in your best hitter to replace someone who already has two strikes on them, you really don't want that new guy flailing away at the first pitch he sees just because if he doesn't it might be called strike three. Your likelihood of an out is probably increased over what it would have been if the original batter had been left in.

Now IIRC Frank did once or twice replace a pitcher in the middle of an at bat. And I believe he also pulled his catcher (LeCroy) in the middle of an at bat, the same day he later violated the "there's no crying in baseball" rule. But that was Frank, a manager to whom the words "coherent managing strategy" were rarely if ever applied.

Posted by: Section 419 | September 6, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

That whole area is getting less and less scary everyday (I work around there). Next year, you won't be able to hit bars in the stadium's immediate area, you'll have to head over to Barracks Row (8th St Corridor) or over to Penn Ave. By 2009 though, Half St Corridor should be finished and you'll be able to hit some places immediately after that game. The bars will be directly inbetween the stadium and the metro, so no one will be walking through some dark neighborhood at night. Really looking foward to it!

Posted by: G-town | September 6, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Re: changing in the middle of the count

Interesting. Thanks for enlightening me. What I like about baseball is that you can always learn something new.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 6, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Someone has to get the story of how Jon Rauch found 3-5 mph on his fastball last night along with some Riveraesqe movement. You could have given Mike Jacobs 12 strikes and he still wouldn't have put wood to horsehide.

Posted by: Surprised | September 6, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Of course there's an Oklahoma Avenue. There is an Avenue (I may be slightly wrong, here, a couple of them might be streets or something) named after each state in the Union.

BTW, speaking of umpires, can anyone explain Laz Diaz' strike zone yesterday. His zone is often different than most MLB umpires call, but last evening it was all over the place. PS, I very seldom criticize blues and will freely admit that, even from the "B" or "C" position I can seldom really tell a strike. What I can tell is if a plate umpire is consistent. Diaz was anything but, yesterday.

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 6, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

You can replace a hitter mid-at bat (the count stays) and you can replace a pitcher mid-AB (if the new pitcher inherits a 2-ball count, and walks the hitter, the walk is charged to the first pitcher. Not sure about Ks.) Injuries account for the overwhelming majority of such pinch-hitters, but managers have been known to give up on pitchers after, say, 10 straight balls to start an inning.

Posted by: CEvans | September 6, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

But what I really want to know: Barry, at the beginning of the year, you said unambiguously, you'd rather have the Marlins' roster than the Nats', and at the time, that seemed logical.
Changed your mind yet?
And how smug is Joe Girardi feeling, just about now?

Posted by: CEvansJr | September 6, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Girardi????

How smug (lucky) should we feel. Let's remember who owned the Montreal franchise before they talked Bud Selig into trading for Miami.

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 6, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Catcher, I was being someone facetious. I know in theory that all 50 states are represented, it's just that in my 7 years as a DC resident I've never run across that one!

Posted by: JennX | September 6, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

(...then again I'm just a Metro-loving Hill dweller, so what do I know?)

Posted by: JennX | September 6, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Robbery in the Stands? G'town, Duh Post, I was taking my 15 month old grandson out of RFK last night near the tunnel to Parking Lot 8, and there was a D.C. police car, Fire Truck and ambulance all w/sirens slicing THROUGH the crowd. What happened?

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

flynnie, that's pretty standard fare when Chad closes.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 6, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Robbery Suspect Shot in the Leg, Police Say

By Clarence Williams
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 6, 2007; B03

A man suspected of robbing a vendor during the Nationals game at RFK Stadium apparently shot himself in the leg by mistake late last night as he tried to elude security guards, authorities said.

The incident began shortly before 10:30 p.m., in the final inning of the game against the Florida Marlins. Diane Groomes, commander of the 1st Police District, said a man robbed a vendor on the fifth floor of the stadium as the woman was closing the business for the night.

As fans looked on, security guards alerted by the vendor chased the man down the ramps of the stadium. But the man managed to escape the building before apparently climbing a fence to get into Lot 5, the players' parking area, Groomes said.

Guards caught up with the man there, Groomes said, and he had what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound in one of his legs. The injury was not thought to be life-threatening. He was transported to a hospital.

Groomes said the suspect, a 21-year-old from Baltimore, was a former employee of a food vendor at the stadium. The man's name was not released because he had not yet been charged.

Police recovered a semi-automatic pistol in the parking lot. The Nationals won the game, 6-4.

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Nice. On the 5th floor. In front of fans. With a semi-automatic weapon. And we're all moving to Anacostia! This is why the Reds couldn't fill their new ballpark on a Sunday afternoon when they were in contention. I'm not trolling the bait through that neighborhood to get to a Metro stop. Solution? Mobilize all the Marines at 8th & I to provide squadrons of armed men for fan protection.

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

My favorite sentence:

"Police recovered a semi-automatic pistol in the parking lot. The Nationals won the game, 6-4."

Posted by: NatsNut | September 6, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The guy was from Baltimore.
________________
"...And we're all moving to Anacostia!"

Posted by: NatsNut | September 6, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"Watson finished the year hitting .313 for Class AAA Columbus. The truth is, the organization doesn't view him as a prospect. Keep in mind they're not alone in that regard. He was jettisoned by Cincinnati and Detroit as well."

So what would Watson have to do to get people to like him? Finish the year hitting .400? what am I missing (aside from about 350 posts since having returned from Central America last night)?

Posted by: Juan-John | September 6, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

i'd say that the marlins have more talent than the nats. cabrera, hanley ramirez, hermida...marlins pitching was good last year too. nats are full of discarded players with less upside. i remember opening day this year and the difference between the two teams on the field was scary. speed and athleticism wow. somewhat unfair time to judge though as nats were feeling each other out. although both clubs had new managers...

i think the separation we see now is the difference in hope (between the ownership and the stucture of the two organizations and new ballpark era good feelings!). talentwise, i'd take the marlins in a landslide (but i'd take our bullpen).

Posted by: longterm | September 6, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Jenn:

When I lived in DC, I had a friend that worked for the National Park Service - it doesn't pay much, but you get great access to some cool things - and I thought he told me that all of the states were represented but one... But I just did a google search, and on wikipedia, it says that there is an avenue for every state, except for California and Ohio; California is a street, and Ohio is Ohio Drive.

Of course, what does wikipedia know?

(that's kinda funny)

On another topic - What's up with Wily Mo Pena and this inside-out swing? I thought we pay him to hit dingers?

Posted by: Wigi | September 6, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Actually the stadium is ON the Anacostia, as in the river, not IN Anacostia, as in the neighborhood. Not arguing as to whether that's good, one way or another, just clarifying. The stadium's new neighborhood is largely new government buildings and construction zones. At night it's more "dead" than "deadly." If you go to the Metropolitan Police Department's crime map and look at the crime stats for the area around the stadium, it compares stats for any time period you enter (I entered year to date) to the same period last year. Crime has plummeted in this area, probably because anything that used to draw people to this area (night clubs, etc.) has been bulldozed. There have been 52 incidents in the area around Half Street and Potomac Ave SE so far this year, and 42 of these are categorized as "property crime" including car thefts and home burglaries.

Posted by: JennX | September 6, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Jennx,
If you go south from the ballpark there are some very sketchy neighborhoods between S. Capitol and the waterfront.

A lot of it is HUD housing being torn down. Maybe there is the room for our parking garages...it would be behind the left field wall of the stadium so you couldn't see it from the field (or press box).

Posted by: estuartj | September 6, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"So what would Watson have to do to get people to like him? Finish the year hitting .400?"

I still don't think that would do it. Rick Short was batting .500 in '05 and they brought him up briefly twice and then sold him to a Japan team.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

sorry, Rich Short was batting .400 (or close to it), not .500 in AAA when he was called up and then shipped out.

Maybe .500 would have gotten him so attention...although he did flirt with .400 in the bigs (as did Zimmerman) during his brief stint.

Posted by: estuartj | September 6, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

estuartj: Do you mean Southwest of the stadium, and west of South Capitol Street? Cuz if you go directly South from the stadium on South Capitol Street don't you just end up on the Frederick Douglas Bridge? I assumed that most people be would be walking north through that government office building area toward the dreaded over-the-outfield parking lots and the Green Line.

Posted by: JennX | September 6, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

It will certainly be a target-rich environment on opening night.

"JennX: Crime has plummeted in this area, probably because anything that used to draw people to this area."

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

estuartj, do you mean west of the ballpark? The park is more or less on the bank of the river, so to go south (into Anacostia for real) you'd have to cross the bridge, which is a fairly easily patrolled choke point. But to the west there are a lot of HUD complexes that will be torn down in a few years as they become overpriced. The sad thing is that DC isn't doing much to help mitigate the displacement pains. Good luck with your new residents Prince George's County!

Also, hats off to Wigipedia.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 6, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Yea, I meant west. Two flubs in two posts, impressive.

I was looking at a pair of townhouses that were for sale over there in '05. I didn't bite because I couldn't find out for certain what land was going to get brabbed up via eminent domain, but that is also a very rough part of town. All of SE between 295 and the river used to be like that, but most the projects have been moved out, with the expected drop in crime and increase in property value in the neighborhoods nearby.

Sucks for the residents, but when the government is providing you with free housing it's difficult to complain about its location.

Posted by: estuartj | September 6, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Nah. If crime is down now, it will go lower with the opening of the park. Crowds will be big, the metro entrances are no further away from the park than at RFK, lighting will be better, etc. No need to panic yet.
______
flynnie: "It will certainly be a target-rich environment on opening night."

Posted by: NatsNut | September 6, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

We've got an empty condo on Conn. Ave. and wife and I are trying figure out whether or not to move back to D.C. and end our ten-year dream vacation on the Northern Neck. Other than that, it was Calvert & Cliffbourne or the condo for decades past.

My previous post seems to have ruffled (some) feathers, but I do question whether a whole lot of northern Virginians and Montgomery Countians are going to flock to the ball park and then frequent whatever's available for post-game libations on their way to the orange line or whatever. Those of us who enjoy cities may look for adventure, but most people put their security first. Others just flat out will not set foot in D.C. no matter what. That odd armed robbery episode at RFK last night will not help.

By the way, there is more mobile armor in the form of various police forces patrolling our condo's area (due to proximity of Israeli embassy, etc.) than are likely to be found in Baghdad. I mean heavy weapons, too.

Posted by: JohnR(VA) | September 6, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Remember the wonderful (i.e. true) feature on crime in the District concentrated around metro stops after midnight? Here's the only link to the terrific graphic that I could find The red dots are crimes with guns.www.nicar.org/Keating_mapgraphic.pdf

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut, JennX et. al., how much solace can you take in crowds as you go to Metro garages in Wheaton or New Carrolton or even Union Station for the ride home? Those places are creepy at after-game hours.

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I'd concede this point. I would worry more about the safety at destination stations more than the stadium itself after a game, but that won't be new.
__________
NatsNut, JennX et. al., how much solace can you take in crowds as you go to Metro garages in Wheaton or New Carrolton or even Union Station for the ride home? Those places are creepy at after-game hours.

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 03:23 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | September 6, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Is Angelos so desperate for more revenue from the Nats that he is now sending goons to knock-over our concessions stands? Next time, the Aramark employee should give the robber a hot dog. That would stop him "cold."

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | September 6, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

flynnie, that URL crashed my browser!

I've never been to Wheaton or New Carrolton, so I couldn't say how I'd feel there... but I thought we were talking about the neighborhood around the stadium?

Look, it's a city. I've been mugged in my pretty solidly gentrified Capitol Hill neighborhood. It happens. All you can do is be alert and careful. I wasn't arguing for or against anything, but just offered up a few stats about the neighborhood the new stadium will be in following the comment that "we're all moving to Anacostia". By comparison, my neighborhood has three times as many recorded crime incidents as near the new stadium and I think it's a wonderful neighborhood (as do the homeowners, if the pricetags are any indication).

Posted by: JennX | September 6, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

... now how 'bout that 5 game streak? :)

Posted by: JennX | September 6, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I have been chased by a group of knife-wielding youngsters while I was on my way to a Christmas Party at the Willard. They broke off the chase when I ran into traffic on 14th street, within two blocks of the White House and ran down the yellow line. No cops, nobody to help. I guess their gun-wielding colleagues were busy reaping the harvest at the Metro stops. D.C. has tolerated this problem. New York didn't, according to the Post feature in October of 2006, which told of New Yorkers who said that they would never live in the District again. I can get to and from OPACY in my car without all the fun.

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Speakign of Hot Dogs, etc... The game last night was poorly attended and 3.5 hours long. But one hour into it I went looking for a sausage and too many vendors were closed and the one near me that was open was cooking sausages on short order. They put it on the grill when we ordered. You had to wait 5-10 minutes for it to cook. Now on the upside it was warm and cooked, however there was a line of 20 people waiting. I'm thinking they could have cooked a couple on speculation that a few more orders would come in. (BTW, the employees were working hard and were friendly; I'm pretty sure they were managing this way because of policy passed down).

Sure would be nice to get a hot hot dog and go back to my seat in less than 15 minutes.

On another rant, would somebody please tell Colome that 30 seconds between pitches is a bit much. -- especially when you go 3-2 with multiple foul balls in every at bat. THROW THE BALL.

Posted by: NatBisquit | September 6, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

JennX - I don't know how you can get to the Post feature,(sorry NatsNut) but you should read it. It is not the lot of Capitol Hill residents to be mugged. It is not your fault because you were not alert. Your city and law enforcement tolerate it. A huge percent of the D.C. police force is out on disability. A New York style crackdown could do it. You don't see it in Fairfax, or just across the river in Arlington. It doesn't have to be this way. As long as it is, don't ask me to take the Metro late at night.

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

And I took the T regularly to Fenway, and was the only one in my firm to take calls on Blue Hill Ave. I'm not an NRA ditto-head. Just a Nats fan who loves to take grandkids to the game, and knows that D.C. tolerates crime that other communities don't.

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

did you die?

Posted by: kwamesnani | September 6, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Except for all the murders, D.C. is a pretty safe city.

Posted by: Marion Barry | September 6, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Nope. Just killed this thread, looks like.

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

NatBiscuit: Don't be surprised if the concessions tank considerably (as if they had far to go)in these last weeks. I heard there is even more indifference from Aramark now that the new concessionaire is announced and signed.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 6, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

No can do, Flynnie -- Posse Comitatus.
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Solution? Mobilize all the Marines at 8th & I to provide squadrons of armed men for fan protection.
Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 02:12 PM

Posted by: CEvans | September 6, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Laughing here. And it figures the knucklehead would stick the gun in his pants to climb the fence, and blow off his own [upper middle extremity].

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Is Angelos so desperate for more revenue from the Nats that he is now sending goons to knock-over our concessions stands? Next time, the Aramark employee should give the robber a hot dog. That would stop him "cold."
Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | September 6, 2007 03:31 PM

Posted by: CEvans | September 6, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for crossing the plate first last night, Felipe. We needed all the runs we could get. And for Tuesday night. And for being there for Zimmerman to drive in as the winning run of the walk-off on Monday night. Your attitude looks great to us!

Posted by: KeepFelipe | September 6, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Was that Barry I heard at Manny's press conf. getting Manny to laugh when he described the game as "choppy"? Barry should favor us with a list of baseball writer adjectives: choppy, sparkly, etc. Also, I'd love to know the book on umps and how they affect a game.

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

One thing I've noticed about FLop recently: he doesn't lope over to first base as much as he used to; he hustles a lot more.

Posted by: Juan-John | September 6, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"I can get to and from OPACY in my car without all the fun."

Well then enjoy the Orioles, flynnie. They're a team on the upswing. Why, they've gone from losing 30-3 to losing 17-2 in just a couple of weeks!

Posted by: Section 419 | September 6, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

didn't want to continue this topic, but on this I couldn't resist...

I've been more nervous for my safety DRIVING through the neighborhood around OPACY after games than I've ever been walking through a DC neighborhood or getting on Metro.

Not saying DC's perfect, I'm just sayin'-- bad example!

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"I can get to and from OPACY in my car without all the fun."

Well then enjoy the Orioles, flynnie. They're a team on the upswing. Why, they've gone from losing 30-3 to losing 17-2 in just a couple of weeks!

Posted by: Section 419 | September 6, 2007 05:05 PM

Posted by: JennX | September 6, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I've never had any problems getting food from either the Mezzanine Food Court or Dominic's stands. But I do have to caveat that by saying that I always buy my food when I get to the stadium, on my way to my seat. Maybe I'm weird that way, but once I sit down I tend to want to watch the game, not wander around. Also, I don't think I've ever patronized any of the 100%-Aramark stands that have generated all the complaints. I don't think the Mezz Food Court stands are staffed by Aramark. Don't know about Dominic's, but they've always been nice to me, and service has been fast there.

Posted by: Section 419 | September 6, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I do the same thing and highly recommend it. No lines, food's hot, staff is fresh and cheerful.
_______________
"...I always buy my food when I get to the stadium, on my way to my seat."

Posted by: NatsNut | September 6, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Can I suggest that Wily Mo Peña personally escort every fan safely home? It would take more time, but I'd bet there wouldn't be a single criminal incident!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 6, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

506: How about Wily Mo AND Jon Rauch? :D

Posted by: JennX | September 6, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I tried to get Felipe to escort me home one time, but he wouldn't talk to me. Especially when I really started pressing him...

Posted by: Section 419 | September 6, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I asked Colome butt he said he was busy.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 6, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

We could also use Fick as a Security Escort, but only because he can also play Catcher.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 6, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

But if attacked, Fick would probably swing and miss. Oooo, that was an ugly last at bat!

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse


You think THAT's rough? Try going to an Eagles game in a Santa suit ...
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I've been more nervous for my safety DRIVING through the neighborhood around OPACY after games than I've ever been walking through a DC neighborhood or getting on Metro. Not saying DC's perfect, I'm just sayin'-- bad example!
---------
"I can get to and from OPACY in my car without all the fun."
Well then enjoy the Orioles, flynnie. They're a team on the upswing. Why, they've gone from losing 30-3 to losing 17-2 in just a couple of weeks!
Posted by: Section 419 | September 6, 2007 05:05 PM
Posted by: JennX | September 6, 2007 05:11 PM

Posted by: CEvans | September 6, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Nope, 419, someone has to come along and tend to the wounded at the Metro parking lots.

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to miss the Dominic's hot dogs. But I've never had to eat one cold. They sure are good hot!

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

You are cordially invited to the NJ bloggers' end-of-season tailgate event at RFK.

Date: Sunday, September 23

Time: From 10:05 AM (when parking lots open) to approx. 11:35 AM (game time is 12:05)

Where: Southeast corner of Parking Lot 8 (see team site for directions)

Attire: Casual (Nats gear or Meat Hook t-shirts for the carnivores among us)

Here's Your Sign: Look for Hendo's black '07 Miata with the Planet NJ sign on top. Hendo will also provide a sound system for our musical pleasure. Could double-dactyls be far behind?

What to Bring: Chair, if desired, your own drinking water, and something to eat or drink. Volunteered so far have been sweet muffins or scones and fruit, bagels and cream cheese, English muffins and hard cheese, poached salmon, coffee, and white wine. We could also use disposable plates, cups, napkins, and utensils.

Hosts/participants will include: Jenn-X, Hendo, Natsfan1a, SC Nats Fan, and Wigi.

Please come join us so we can put a face to the monikers!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 6, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Holy RFK, is it going to be up to me to bring bacon and malt liquor?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | September 6, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

There ya go...

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Holy RFK, is it going to be up to me to bring bacon and malt liquor?

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 6, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Also, now that I've caught up on my NJ posting reading, I must congratulate Sect. 506 on the excellent new twists on the weekly GB/A ratings. FanNATstic!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 6, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting the invite, natsfan1a.

Now, about crime. Yes, DC has too much of it. Yes, spotty enforcement annoys me mightily. Yes, I want all our fans to be safe and protected.

And yes, DC is still my favorite town.

You want freedom from urban crime? Move to the country. There, you have nothing to worry about, except your tires getting slashed. Or your mailbox getting knocked over. Or your dog getting fed glass. Or getting run off a narrow two-lane road into a creek. Or the neighbors down the road running a meth lab and peddling to the neighborhood kids. (All things that have happened over the years to folks in the rural West Virginia neighborhood in which I grew up.)

Barring that, let's all use some sense, and look out for one another. We will survive our foray into the alleged South Capitol Street jungle.

As someone noted on an earlier post, remember how spooky Chinatown still was at night when MCI Center first opened? Anyone who moved to the area much after that wouldn't believe it.

Posted by: Hendo | September 6, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the no-post-all-day thing. There's a new one up there now. Next installment of position-by-position. Thanks.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | September 6, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome re. the invite, Hendo.

I hear you on the crime stats. My in-laws have had burglaries and so forth in rural areas, and we're not immune in suburbia, either.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 6, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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