Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Pre-Series drizzle, plus minor Nats news

We rise this morning to something that actually resembles a New England fall day. Drizzle. It's still perhaps 60 degrees, but nothing like the global-warming-must-be-a-reality 80 degrees of the past couple days.

Game 1 is tonight, and I'll get to that. Sheinin and I will have a chat today at 2 p.m., so join in for discussion of whatever you want. But let's get through the procedural Nats stuff first.

Remember all those roster spots the club cleared by outrighting players to Columbus. Some of the spaces on the 40-man were cleared for their own guys. They added right-hander Garrett Mock, lefty Justin Jones, outfielder Roger Bernadina and first baseman Josh Whitesell.

Adding these guys to the 40-man protects them from the Rule 5 draft. Here are the stats/descriptions straight from the Nats' release:

* The 6-foot-4 Mock is currently participating in the Arizona Fall League, where he has walked two, struck out seven and not allowed an earned run in 7.0 innings spanning three games/two starts. Mock, 24, fanned 7.5 batters per 9.0 innings and finished 2-7 with a 5.12 ERA at three levels in the Nationals' system in 2007. He entered the season ranked by Baseball America among the Nationals' top 12 prospects. Mock, Arizona 's third-round selection in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, was acquired by Washington with left-handed pitcher Matt Chico on August 7, 2006 as part of the deal that sent Livan Hernandez to the Arizona . He is 25-28 with a 4.48 ERA in four professional seasons.

* Jones, 23, went 11-8 with a 3.72 ERA in 22 games/21 starts at three levels in Washington 's system this season. Selected from Minnesota by the Nationals in the minor-league phase of the '06 Rule 5 Draft, Jones' 11 wins ranked third in Washington 's minor-league system in '07. The Cubs' 2nd-round selection in the '02 First-Year Player Draft, Jones is 31-27 with a 3.39 ERA during his six-year professional career, during which he has averaged 7.9 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched.

* The 25 year-old Whitesell is coming off a season in which he hit .284 and set career bests with 21 home runs, 74 RBI and an astounding .425 on-base percentage in 119 games with Harrisburg of the Double-A Eastern League. Not only did Whitesell rank second in the Eastern League in on-base percentage, he ranked among organization leaders in home runs (tied for third) and RBI (fourth). He was also voted the best defensive first baseman in the Eastern League as part of Baseball America 's annual polling of league managers. A sixth-round selection in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, Whitesell is a career .270 hitter with 105 doubles, 79 home runs and 269 RBI in five seasons as a pro.

* Bernadina made his Triple-A debut this season, but spent the majority of the 2007 campaign with Harrisburg , where he hit .270 (100-for-371) with 15 doubles, six home runs and 36 RBI in 97 games. Bernadina posted a .340 Eastern League on-base percentage en route to a career-best 40 stolen bases which not only led all Nationals minor leaguers, but ranked second in the Eastern League. The 23 year-old Bernadina is a career .250 hitter who owns an on-base percentage of .340 and 139 stolen bases in six professional seasons.


I realize I promised a story on the Arizona Fall League guys a while ago, and it's completely my fault that I haven't gotten around to it. It's sitting in my notebook waiting to be written, and I will do it soon. Postseason has been rather hectic.

On to that. We dined last night at this place in Boston's South End. (It has a rather noisy Web site, so careful.) It was superb. We hadn't ordered yet when current Celtic Scot Pollard walked in and sat two tables over. Then, at the table next to us, came Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner. (If this was the Reliable Source, I'd tell you that Henry ordered a thin-crust tomato and mozzarella pizza and used a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer at the table before he ate. But it's not the Reliable Source, so I'll keep that to myself.) They were joined by FOX Sports Executive Producer Ed Goren.

The Series: The coverage this morning included Sheinin's preview, a Boz column warning all to beware of the Rockies, a story I wrote about the pace of postseason baseball, a notebook on the Wakefield situation, and a couple of graphics, one of which is available here.

But we've got roughly nine hours to go. So I want everyone's predictions. Sheinin, at dinner last night, picked Red Sox in four. (Not sure he wants that public, but oh well.) I picked Red Sox in five.

You? (And remember the 2 p.m. chat.)

By Barry Svrluga  |  October 24, 2007; 11:05 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Bowden, Kasten and the World Series
Next: Game 1 Lineups

Comments

I spend 20 minutes hacking out the following Op-ed peice as a point for discussion in the last thread, and then Barry changes the topic while I'm typing. Reposting here to see if I'm totally at sea when it comes to thoughts on the parking situation:

The following statement is going to be unrepentantly eliteist, and I suspect subject to significant criticism from some, but here goes anyway:

By promising parking to every full season, 1/2 season, and partial plan ticket holder, the Nats have done everything they really need to do in order to solve the parking problem at the new stadium for next season. If driving is that important to you, buy a 20 game plan + a parking pass. if you're not willing to pay that much, take the Metro and do not grouse about the added time it may take to get to the game.

It really comes down to which you value more with respect to entertainment (which is all we're talking about here): your time or your money. The Nationals have now provided options for people who fall into both categories. As someone who has had a middling price level 20 game plan since 2005 (and without knowing how much parking will be next season, my guess is $30), I don't think the place they've set the bar for those who value their time over their money is too high, particularly when compared to what the Redskins demand of their fan base.

In an urban environment, where even in the current slump real estate is still at a significant premium, the largesse of a 10,000 car, available-for-all parking lot as found at RFK is a dinosaur, just like the 75 cent (or less) gas that enabled the car-culture which required those lots to be built way back when. People need to start to realise, as they already have in Europe, that owning a car, driving it into the city, and parking it exactly where you want to is a privilege, not a right. In this world privilege is expensive. So long as the Nats are making that privilege available and attainable for most who reasonably want it (i.e., us 20 game schlubs, and not just the $300 a seat crowd), I don't think people can complain about the hard choices they've had to make about parking.

Please remember, MLB stuck both D.C. and the Lerners with this site; if you're going to complain about parking, complain about what Bud Selig did in 2004 and 2005; do not complain about what the team is trying very hard to do now to make its most loyal and long-term fans happy.

Posted by: 408 Row 1 | October 24, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I hope picking up first baseman Whitesell doesn't indicate bad news for Nick Johnson.

Posted by: Roy | October 24, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Well said, 408.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 24, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Barry, was Mock actually in either 2006 or 2005 First-Year Player Draft?
_________
"Mock, Arizona 's third-round selection in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, was acquired by Washington with left-handed pitcher Matt Chico on August 7, 2006 as part of the deal that sent Livan Hernandez to the Arizona."

Posted by: NatsNut | October 24, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Never mind. It must have been the 2003 draft.
_________________
"He is 25-28 with a 4.48 ERA in four professional seasons."

Posted by: NatsNut | October 24, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Rocks in 6, it will be legendary.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 24, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Boz. Rockies in 7.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 24, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I think Rocks in 5, but could also believe RedSox in 7.

I think even the Rockies would be hard pressed to win a game 6 or 7 in Boston, particulary if they've lost twice prior to that. I think RedSox win tonight, then Rockies win tomorrow, then Rockies sweep at home.

Posted by: 408 Row 1 | October 24, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Sox in 5.

Posted by: Mike Lowell's Mom | October 24, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

408: all of that would be relevant if Nats tickets were a scarce resource for which fans have to compete (more like Skins tickets). Then the fans would have to put up with whatever inconveniences hinder them in getting to ballpark and just lump it.

In fact, however, it's the other way around: the Nats are competing for the fan's scarce entertainment dollars. If they make it too hard to get to park, people simply won't come; at least, not nearly as often.

I know, because I'm one of them. I'm not taking Metro to any significant number of games next year. If my only option is Metro, I'll go to a handful of weekend games (weeknights are just not an option. I'm not driving from work, going to some Metro station where there may or may not be parking, fight crowds to get on the Metro, and repeat the process on the way home).

On the other hand, if there's a reasonable way to drive to the game (including parking at RFK and shuttling), then I'll probably go to 20-30 games.

As I've said before, judging from the number of cars packing RFK with VA plates, I don't think I'm the only one of this mindset.

Posted by: joebleux | October 24, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Rox in 5, with the only Sox win courtesy of Dice-K throwing a no-hitter and going 3-for-4 at the plate (including a homer).

Heck, if I'm gonna go out on a limb, might as well go ALL THE WAY out... :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | October 24, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Red Sox in 6. Expecting some slugfests when Beckett and Francis aren't the opposing pitchers...... As far as the parking op-ed; I would agree with 408 if mass transit was a better alternative. The Navy Yard metro station, even when expanded, is not going to be able to handle the post game crowds .....

Posted by: NovaNat | October 24, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

The Rockies have a big advantage at Coors given their defense and Boston's apparent need to sacrifice same in order to get Big Papi's bat in the lineup. National League Baseball is the way it was meant to be. I also think the Rockies lineup can go toe to toe with the Sox even when playing a DH. So I'm leaning toward picking Colorado. The thing that troubles me is, I can't see them winning in five, I'm not sure they can take all three in Denver, and I can't see them winning games six or seven at Fenway. Something's gotta give though. Could be the Sox in seven. But I'm going the other way: Rox in seven, in a low-scoring game on a cold November night, decided by a ninth-inning pinch hit homer from Jamey Carroll. Or as Sox fans will call him until their next World Series appearance in 2045, Jamey [RF] Carroll.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 24, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

408's prediction is exactly the same as mine (so here it is again):

"I think even the Rockies would be hard pressed to win a game 6 or 7 in Boston, particulary if they've lost twice prior to that. I think RedSox win tonight, then Rockies win tomorrow, then Rockies sweep at home."

Posted by: MikeH0714 | October 24, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget the Rockie's defense. Vastly superior to the Indians. The Sox were the beneficiaries of some real crummy defense at several extremely key points in the ALCS.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 24, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't everyone's favorite whipping boy newspaper post stories like today's by David Nakamura about the stadium parking situation on their Nationals's web page?

If I'm not wrong, Nationals fans - and nearby residents - are going to be the ones most affected by the parking situation, so why not keep us informed in one convenient place rather than having to hop scotch throughout the print and Internet versions to find and be updated with this pertinent information?

That picture of the Da Meat Hook - or Da Yule Log - is getting kind of tiresome on the Nats's page.

Posted by: leetee1955 | October 24, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Here's a link to a Post article from today in which DC government officials say the parking plan announced by the Nats yesterday is not official.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/23/AR2007102302226.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Posted by: mew | October 24, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

You'd hate my desktop background, then, leetee1955 (although it's a shot of da Meat at bat rather than da Yule Log)...

Sox in 5.

Posted by: Hendo | October 24, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Hendo - I'm not a MHH (Meat Hook Hater). How about if the Post updated the site weekely with pictures of how the stadium is coming along? That way, we can all see how our new home is coming along as we head towards Opening Night on ESPN!

Posted by: leetee1955 | October 24, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't tend to go in for predictions, but I'll be rooting for the Rockies and I enjoyed Bob L.'s scenario below (I made a similar Jamey F. Carroll prediction before the playoff game with the Padres).

---

But I'm going the other way: Rox in seven, in a low-scoring game on a cold November night, decided by a ninth-inning pinch hit homer from Jamey Carroll. Or as Sox fans will call him until their next World Series appearance in 2045, Jamey [RF] Carroll.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 24, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

leetee1955 - you don't need the post to show you the park! Use this http://clarkconstruction.oxblue.com/clarkhuntsmoot/

and see that there are now two circles for THE PITCHERS MOUND and HOME PLATE AREA!

Sorry, but I think that's extremely exciting!

Posted by: Greg | October 24, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I am going with the consensus here, Rox in 5. I would say Rox in 4 but I wonder if Beckett can lose tonight. Loss of Wakefield a disaster for Bosox.

Posted by: Section 419 Row 8 | October 24, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

For me, personally, I agree with joebleux re: parking/access, despite 408's eloquence and logic. Before Washington scrabbled and fought MLB and itself and Peter Angelos for our team, I was a ballet subscriber to the Kennedy Center's annual season. They're accessed by numerous roads and bridges, and also by the Foggy Bottom Metro (and free, continuous shuttles run as a courtesy by the Center). For a couple reasons (boredom with the same classical ballets year after year and the thrill of discovering baseball, among them), I scaled back on the ballet and went to lots of Nats games. Even with the Kennedy Center's pretty easy access, I rode Metro a while in the past, and then switched to my trusty little car.

Why? Metro's chronic underfunding from all the jurisdictions results in chronic breakdowns and delays, plus fare hikes. Those issues drove me back to my car. I couldn't wait indefinitely after a performance for a train to arrive, and parking in the KC garage wound up costing only a $ or 2 more than parking in a Metro garage, then paying fares. So it is now with my getting to/from Nats games. It's not just convenience, it's everything in the equation. I agree that MLB dumped this site on the team and Washington, and they now both have to deal with it. But, if our Metro were better funded and ran like the subways in, say, New York, London, and Boston, I wouldn't have a problem taking the train to games. But we don't. So Kasten et al and the city have to deal with the parking and access issue. And, they do seem to be working hard at it (since success depends in large part on resolving these issues).

Posted by: samantha7 | October 24, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

OMG! Greg, the two circles weren't there when I was looking at this the other day! You're not alone. That's VERY exciting!!

Posted by: NatsNut | October 24, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Tip for making the difficult Metro ride: consume a great deal of alcohol. It's not bad at all then!

If only I could find a way to utilize that principle on the way to work...

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 24, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Looking at that pic makes me very happy...

---

OMG! Greg, the two circles weren't there when I was looking at this the other day! You're not alone. That's VERY exciting!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 24, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

408,

I mostly agree with what you're saying, wasn't that elitest of you. Its two things, some fans were spoiled having the giant parking at RFK which is true as you point out, a dinosaur. I can also see though, that if the team is trying to attract fans, they should make getting to the game as easy as possible.

I think the team can only do so much when it comes to the parking situation, and it might be a little unfair to say that the team isn't doing enough to fix it. I don't think all of the parking lots, structures, metro are in their control. Quite frankly, the parking this has been beaten to a pulp by the Post and Virginians, I have a hard time believing the Nats FO doesn't realize this is an issue and is doing something about it.

Let things play out, see how it actually goes when the season starts, then we can pick apart how lame things are. Until then, we really won't know. A little patience will certainly help though, I can't think of anything in life that runs smoothly the first time through!

Posted by: G-town | October 24, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I'd agree that the FO does seem to be working on the parking situation diligently, which is probably why they jumped the gun a little with the announcement about shuttle service from RFK.

But that in itself is encouraging to me.

Posted by: joebleux | October 24, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

My parents go to lots of games -- they're in their mid 70's. While active and alert, the hassle of Metro is not for them, or for a lot of older fans. And lets face it, baseball has a lot of older fans.

My nephews also like going to games, but they are often tired and ready to go by the time the game ends. Their parents like to pack them into the car then drive home while the kids sleep (just as my brothers and I used to do after games as kids). Packing 7 and 9 year kids onto the Metro at 10 PM (or LATER!) does not seem like a good idea either.

Posted by: Sec 515 | October 24, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Look at the Clark construction camera. They are laying out the Pitchers Mound and Batters Circle.

http://clarkconstruction.oxblue.com/clarkhuntsmoot/

Posted by: 6th and D | October 24, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Ooops. Someone beat me to the punch. Sorry for the repetition Greg. I'm excited too.

Posted by: 6th and D | October 24, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

No problem, 6th and D, it *is* very cool and exciting!

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 24, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

1. I must have been sleeping when MLB baseball chose the South Capitol St. site. I thought it was a local decision. Can someone please elucidate?

2. If the RFK deal works out, parking may be reduced to a nuisance, not a problem.

3. The stadium looks like a winner in every respect.

4. There are two factors militating against the Rockies' winning the series. First, the eight-day layoff. These guys are going to be rusty as all get out. It will take the hitters days to find their groove--if they ever do. Second, the hoopla. There's a photo of Holladay in the Fredericksburg paper coming out of the dugout at Fenway yesterday to take batting practice, against a background of wall-to-wall photographers. Holladay had a dazed look on his face. These guys have never experienced what a WS is like, and I think it will adversely affect their rhythm. Sox in four or five.

Posted by: JohnR (VA) | October 24, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

if i remember correctly, the site still had to be approved by MLB, as the ersatz owner at the time.

Posted by: other 506 | October 24, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Take a look at the stadium with the clock at 2:21 and you won't have rain on the camera. And there's a guy in a cherry picker installing something. This is so cool.

Posted by: Old Section 406 | October 24, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I stand very much corrected on who picked the SE D.C. site. I recalled that D.C. wanted a site on New York Ave., and baseball pushed for the one in SE D.C. The following article, which talks about the early days of site selections, suggests I have it backwards:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A48141-2003Mar5?language=printer

Maybe we can properly blame the D.C. government for the parking situation, which sadly doesn't surprise me. I still don't blame the current owners, though, as I remain convinced they've done as much as they reasonably can given what they were handed.

Posted by: 408 Row 1 | October 24, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

My prediction - Rockies in six - based on the former Nats factor (Rockies have 2, Ortiz and Carroll), Red Sox none, as far as I know. This worked for St. Louis (Wilson, Bennett, another?) last year!

Parking could be an issue - but people are disparging Metro - for me, coming from Maryland, it will take about the same time on Metro's green line (Greenbelt to Navy Yard) as driving to RFK did. I rode Metro for 10 years commuting to DC - it is, most of the time, safe, clean, somewhat affordable, and easy to figure out. If I have the Metro AND RFK shuttle as an option, that's BETTER than it was, not worse. People who can (realize older folks can't) should try Metro a time or two before knocking it. If RFK parking/shuttle is free, the Nats should compensate the DC Gov't for lost tax revenue via parking - that's only fair since DC paid for the stadium.

I'd like to see the Nats offer some 5 - 10 game plans, with or without parking, and some kids plans - a LOT of people in Maryland don't or won't go because they don't have these plans - 20 games is too many. We need more package options!

Also, the Nats need to start a marketing/information campaign about the new ballpark to counteract a lot of disinformation coming from a certain man named Schmuck and his cohorts on Baltimore radio - they, according to my friends who listen, have been saying -- (1) stadium is REALLY hard to get to (2) stadium is in an unsafe, crime-ridden area (3) stadium is behind schedule (4) stadium has NO parking at all. All untrue and designed to hold down Nats' attendance.

The Nats have a lot of POTENTIAL fans in MD, but are doing nothing to reach them.

Posted by: natswriter | October 24, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

i think the idea of 5-10 game "packages" is good (a la basketball/hockey). but i would hesitate to call them "season ticket" plans. they should be available for purchase after season tickets are all allocated and not have any carryover to next year (other than, possibly, a priority to order next year if you have them this year). there's still time to put something like that together, and who knows, maybe stan-the-man and his team already has it in the works.

Posted by: other 506 | October 24, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I asked Barry/Dave the question I posted earlier about why the Post doesn't post stories about the stadium parking situation on its Nationals' page. here is how it transpired. BTW - Da Meat Hook comment is Barry's, not mine:

Silver Spring, Md.: A Nationals-related inquiry, if you please.

Why doesn't your newspaper post stories like today's by David Nakamura about the stadium parking situation on their Nationals's web page?

If I'm not wrong, Nationals fans - and nearby residents - are going to be the ones most affected by the parking situation, so why not keep us informed in one convenient place rather than having to hop scotch throughout the print and Internet versions to find and be updated with this pertinent information?


washingtonpost.com: washingtonpost.com sports editor Jon DeNunzio says: "That's a very good point. Someone must have missed it in the Metro-Sports communication process. We'll get it up on the Nats page ... "

Barry Svrluga: There's an answer there from Mr. DeNunzio. A great idea/point, and I think that all those parking stories should be funneled there. (Maybe they'll even get rid of that Dmitri Young photo, which has been up there a few weeks.)

Posted by: leetee1955 | October 24, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Make that three former Nats, Natswriter, though one is no longer on the field. I read somewhere that Castilla did play in some of the Rockies' simulated games, though.

---

My prediction - Rockies in six - based on the former Nats factor (Rockies have 2, Ortiz and Carroll), Red Sox none, as far as I know. This worked for St. Louis (Wilson, Bennett, another?) last year!

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 24, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Sox have Royce Clayton!! He was infectiously positive and always willing to build up his teammates. A well-spoken, affable fellow, who I hope is in the Nats broadcast booth in ten years.

Dunno if he's on the WS roster, though.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 24, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

So now it is "Battle of the Former Nats Bench Player Titans"... Only on Fox.

Advantage: Rockies.

Posted by: Wigi | October 24, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The only Sox - Nats connections right now are down in Pawtucket - Travis Hughes was their closer and Chris Carter kind of passed through the organization in the WMP trade.

Bob L's point about Manny in LF at Coors is valid, but it'll be fun to see his opposite field power out there. I don't expect many gift runs either way unless the Red Sox tinker too much with their regular D in Coors. There have been some weird ideas floated, including Youk in right /Drew in CF and Youk at 2d / Pedroia at SS. Doubt anything more radical than one start for Youk at 3d (and one on the pine) in games 3 & 4 when Ortiz plays 1st.

I'll pick 3 games with my head (Beckett twice and Schilling in game 6) and one with my heart - Lester in game 4.

Posted by: jon | October 24, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Forgot Clayton. he's not on the 25 man roster forhte Series, though.

Posted by: jon | October 24, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

New post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 24, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I by no means want to absolve the radio people up north for their statements about the new stadium - but you have to look at it from their perspective. Coming from Baltimore makes the stadium extremely hard to get to on a weeknight basis, it is in a shady area of town, and there are parking issues. Plus, Baltimore is easier to get in and out of, and is cheaper.

As much as I would like to think there are potential Nats fans elsewhere - I doubt it. MoCo is a different animal than the rest of Maryland, completely different. (Western MD born raised, schooled on Eastern Shore & in CP - so I know the layout) Explain to me who would want to fight traffic from Frederick, Baltimore, or A.A. counties? I would be willing to guess that the Nats would rather cater to Virginia fans, since their loyalty can be obtained without infiltrating the fan base of another traditional team that has roots with state residents? What fan would be more profitable? The diehard Nats fan in Richmond or the time-share fan in Colubmia?

So its not much of a reach to see their angst or their intentions. Try to save a struggling franchise while casual fans go somewhere else? Word of mouth is a powerful tool. Do I agree with them, No. Do I understand it, Yes.

Posted by: theraph | October 24, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh, theraph, so much in your post is just plain wrong.

"Coming from Baltimore makes the stadium extremely hard to get to on a weeknight basis" -- Agree, but Schmuck and company said (also erroneously) the NoVa fans made up 33% of the O's fan base - it's just as hard to get from Gainesville to Baltimore as it is from Baltimore to DC - longer, actually. So why can't the Nats try to get these fans, too?

"it is in a shady area of town" -- just absolutely not true - the Nats stadium is near the Navy Yard, waterfront and Fort McNair, all nice places. I worked at McNair for 4 months and took metro -- even stayed until night - never, ever a problem.

"Plus, Baltimore is easier to get in and out of, and is cheaper." - It is easier to get to I-95 by car, but there's no large metro to Baltimore and Nats tickets this year $5 and next $10 are cheaper. Ushers are much nicer, too.

"As much as I would like to think there are potential Nats fans elsewhere - I doubt it" - I know many Nats fans in Gaithersburg, Ellicott City, Columbia, Crofton, Silver Spring, and PG County. Many, many more people would support the Nats IF the team marketed there.

Explain to me who would want to fight traffic from Frederick" -- According to Frank Howard, many Nats fans live in Frederick and Hagerstown, where the Nats affiliate plays, also Harrisburg, PA.

"I would be willing to guess that the Nats would rather cater to Virginia fans, since their loyalty can be obtained without infiltrating the fan base of another traditional team" -- Well, The O's market like crazy in Va and DC (they have WTEM broadcast the games - a DC/VA station) so why can't the Nats do the same? Competition would be healthy for both teams.

"What fan would be more profitable? The diehard Nats fan in Richmond or the time-share fan in Colubmia?" -- EVERY fan is profitable, why try to get fewer, both teams should be going for all they can - it's bad either way if one flounders.

"Try to save a struggling franchise while casual fans go somewhere else?" -- The Orioles struggle only on the field, they have strong history, roots, a beautiful ballpark, the tv rights of BOTH teams and a guaranteed selling price for the owner. They aren't going anywhere and I wouldn't want them too.

I don't think anyone in the media that purports to be a professional should cheerlead or spread lies about other teams. It's counterproductive - all he and his cohorts did for me was cause me to turn off the radio.

Posted by: natswriter | October 24, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

natswriter:

I just read your post, and can say that although I understand your points, they are coming from a heated emotional position instead of logic. Its about relativity.

Just because you worked someone and were acclimated to the area, does not mean that others would not think of it as a shady part of town. Tell someone from a more rural area that the Navy Yard is a nice place, and they will soil their pants.

The ushers in Baltimore are much more friendly, in my experiences at the stadium. I have been to 61 games at RFK in three years, and roughly 97 in Baltimore since Camden opened. The ushers in RFK were not rude by any means. But the ones in Baltimore were more engaging.

There are no price structures that are cheaper next year. None. Maybe in the Madison Building $5 seats and the super club seats - thats about it.

Gaithersburg & Silver Spring are MoCo, PG County is given. I am sure there are Nats fans in EC, Crofton, and Columbia - but it is the minority that are coming to the stadium regardless. The swing votes, so to speak, in those locations will go to the Orioles, no matter what the marketing department comes up with.

According the Frank Howard, there might be Nats fans in Hagerstown and Frederick. But once again, it is a minority. Drive through there and look around. Ravens fans, O's fans.

I am not saying that they cannot market like crazy to create open market competition. What I am saying is that I understand reasons behind not doing it.

The O's do have all of the things you mentioned, but they barely bring in fans and the only time is happens is when the larger teams come to town. And this isn't just because they are bad, there are FO problems as well.

I have no idea where you live or what you do or your history. But I do know that you missed a HUGE discussion point: the two cities have a natural rivalry that goes beyond the sports teams. DC people do not like Baltimore people and vice versa. I am sure you can provide me with a specific situation that counters that point - but in general, it is the way it is. Period.

And finally, about the radio (or essentially opinionated radio). Thats is what they are paid to do. I can tell my buddy that this past season the Nats were a great team till I am blue in the face. If he didn't watch any of the games bc he was always watching the O's - how can he know how much the team left it on the field? He sees stats, standings, and media. Talking about something you do not see on a regular basis is a misinformed opinion, but you cannot blame anyone for making decisions based on the information provided. In this case, if they are providing bad information, its wrong. But to take it full circle, you have to look at it from their perspective.

Posted by: theraph | October 25, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company