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The last day of spring

We're finally here. The last week of spring always has the same flow. When it starts, the guys are totally dragging, just dying to get out of Viera. But by this point, there's anticipation. They want to get on that flight. They want to get to Washington. They want that first pitch to be thrown.

John Lannan will throw in the final Grapefruit League game today against the Orioles. Tim Redding will stay behind to throw in a minor-league game tomorrow down here.

And I'll promote the stuff in the $.35/$.50-edition, starting with some pretty good evidence that Nick Johnson will be the first baseman, followed by a little more detailed look at Matt Chico's delivery overhaul, followed by the notebook on the roster moves.

(I forgot to mention in the notebook that the Nationals indeed worked out Dominican shortstop prospect Alvaro Aristy yesterday. There will be several teams involved in this process, and we likely won't know the result until much closer to the July 2 deadline for signing.)

Okay, then, for today's exercise, why don't you fill out a few categories for me, and I'll come back with my own late in the day - as long as it doesn't involve missing my flight.

1. Positive surprise of spring:
2. Disappointment of spring:
3. The first baseman should be:
4. The second baseman should be:
5. The shortstop should be:
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have:
7. Didn't make the team, but should have:
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date:
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date:
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at:

Have at it.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 27, 2008; 9:07 AM ET
 
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Next: Final Grapefruit League lineups -- and weather

Comments

Let me get this straight. The game starts at 8, and the grandstand seats go on sale at 3, and we're supposed to go into the stadium immediately, and we're not allowed to leave?

Way to be family friendly with the cheap seats. Have any of these idiots ever MET a child????

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | March 27, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

How can Manny keep saying that the pitchers sent down will be up in a couple of weeks. What is going to change in a couple of weeks?

Posted by: Cardman | March 27, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: - Hanrahan
2. Disappointment of spring: - Patterson
3. The first baseman should be: - Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: - Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: - Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: - Harris
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: - Orr
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: April 13th
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 15th
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at:
Panera, of course.

Posted by: Avar | March 27, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Guzman
2. Disappointment of spring: Lopez
3. The first baseman should be: Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: I'm going to say either Harris or Mackowiac, not because I think they shouldn't have made it, but because I think one of them will be getting traded before WMP comes back.
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: April 13th
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 11th
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: Panera, of course!

Posted by: BigNatsFan | March 27, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

1. Tie between Hanrahan's performance and Dukes behaving himself.
2. Patterson being unable to get healthy.
3. Nick Johnson (but they shouldn't trade DY either).
4. Ronnie Belliard.
5. Cristian Guzman.
6. No one; they made the right roster choices.
7. Ibid.
8. April 13th
9. April 25th
10. I've never eaten in Viera.

Posted by: #4 | March 27, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: - (tie) John Lannan / Elijah Dukes

2. Disappointment of spring: - Dmitri Young's struggles with weight

3. The first baseman should be: - "Bolt" Johnson

4. The second baseman should be: - R. Belliard

5. The shortstop should be: - C. Guzman

6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: - MLB [2002-2006]. And those SOBs made it a horrible one!

7. Didn't make the team, but should have: - Dennis Martinez

8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: 13 April 2008

9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: 23 April 2008 v. NYMetropolitans

10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: Panera


Posted by: Scoreboard Scotty | March 27, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Nick Johnson
2. Disappointment of spring: Felipe Lopez . Shawn Hill is a close second.
3. The first baseman should be: Nick Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Harris or Mackowiac
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: April 23rd against the Mets
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 23rd against the Mets
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: N/A

Patterson could be considered a disappointment but to be honest with you I never expected much, not after the gun was put on his fast ball (or just ball). I'm disappointed that Hill got hurt. I hope he can pitch effectively this year...he has such a good attitude

I think the fact that Boone made the team is questionable. Do you think he'd be on the team if his dad wasn't with the organization? I doubt it too.

Steven, I don't think Opening Night is the best game to take a child, especially if you don't already have tickets. Take him/her to the game on April 7th. If you do try to get tickets, good luck!

Posted by: 315 | March 27, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

1. Not trading Cordero
2. Not trading Flop
3. Slick
4. Belly
5. Lasik
6. Harris
7. Lannan
8. June 3
9. May 15
10. My Kitchen

Posted by: theraph | March 27, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Johnson
2. Disappointment of spring: Lopez
3. The first baseman should be: Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: - Flores: hear me out, not due to him but ideally he would automatically be in AA with Estrada healthy
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: - Lannan
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: April 13th, but don't expect too many more
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 15th
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: A dog at Space Coast Stadium (never been there, but it's a safe bet)

Posted by: Corey | March 27, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Hanrahan and Nick J.
2. Disappointment of spring: Patterson, Hill and Dmitri.
3. The first baseman should be: NJ
4. The second baseman should be: Belly
5. The shortstop should be: Guz
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Nobody.
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan, but I don't disagree with the move.
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: April 13, but might not last long.
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 23
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: I only ate at Panera, but it was good!

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 27, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Johnson
2. Disappointment of spring: Young
3. The first baseman should be: NJ
4. The second baseman should be: Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: Guz
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: FLop
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: 4/30
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: 4/23
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: Dmitri's apartment

Posted by: PowerBoater | March 27, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Hanrahan
2. Disappointment of spring: Lopez
3. The first baseman should be: Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: Lopez
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Mackowiak
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Alex Escobar
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: April 13
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: May 1
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: The post game spread for players only

Posted by: Sec 314 | March 27, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: hanrahan
2. Disappointment of spring: lopez
3. The first baseman should be: lightning bolts
4. The second baseman should be: belly
5. The shortstop should be: guz
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: harris
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: lannan
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: 5/1
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: 5/15
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: wish i knew... ;(

Posted by: 231 | March 27, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

1. Joel Hanrahan
2. John Patterson
3. Nick Johnson
4. Ronnie Belliard
5. Cristian Guzman
6. Nobody
7. John Lannan
8. May 10
9. April 23
10. Subway

Posted by: Cherokee Parks | March 27, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise --John Lannan and Joel Hanrahan
2. Disappointment -- John Patterson
3. First baseman -- the incomparable Nick Johnson. (Please don't trade him!)
4. Belliard at second
5. Guzman at short
6/7. Lannan instead of Chico should be in rotation

Posted by: Nats Gal | March 27, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

315--don't take kids to a baseball game???? Opening Day isn't a good day for kids? You clearly are one of those jerks who refuses to put your dog on a leash in Lincoln Park. Get a life.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | March 27, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: a) Hanrahan; b) Nick
2. Disappointment of spring: Patterson
3. The first baseman should be: Nick
4. The second baseman should be: Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Colome
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: 2009 The over/under should be 5/1, I'll take the over.
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: 4/15
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: Trick Question

Posted by: NatBisquit | March 27, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Steven,

You can build a whole baseball team of bears while you wait for the game...no worries.

Posted by: Go Nats | March 27, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Hanrahan
2. Disappointment of spring: FLop
3. The first baseman should be: Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: Belly
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: FLop
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Orr
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: Put a fork in him his done
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: Apr 15th
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: I don't know never been, but I little birdy told me about Panera.

Posted by: NiceNat | March 27, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

First MLB extorts $611M from our schools, now my kid's not welcome at the game???

"Espcially if I don't already have tickets." The whole point of cheap tickets is so that you don't have to have a corporate expense account to buy season tickets to go to the game, at least in the nosebleed section. That's FAMILIES.

Posted by: and another thing.... | March 27, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Hanrahan
2. Disappointment of spring: Hill and Patterson not leaving Viera as our #s 1 & 2
3. The first baseman should be: Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: Lopez
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Chico
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: April 13
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 20
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: Lunchtime?

Posted by: tucker | March 27, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

# 10 is a trick question because the best lunch location in Viera doesn't serve sandwiches. Moe's burritos rock!

Posted by: William | March 27, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprises of spring: Hanrahan great in the pen, Johnson healthy, Da Meat Hook scored from first on a double (if I recall correctly), Detwiler is NOT starting the season as a LOOGY.
2. Disappointment of spring: Da Meat Hook weighs 500 pounds, none of Willie Harris/Pete Orr/Bret Boone were traded, Odalis Perez was named Opening Day starter.
3. The first baseman should be: Nicky J should start 5 of every 7 games, with Da Meat Hook starting 2 of every 7 and being the first bat off the bench.
4. The second baseman should be: Belliard, no doubt.
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman, until he gets another freak injury.
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: I agree with BNF, Harris/Mackowiak, they made it because because Pena is on the DL.
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan, Orr, Schroder.
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: May 15 (not getting my hopes up for an April debut).
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 25
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: Panera.

Posted by: Hoagie | March 27, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Justin Maxwell - Can't wait until he's a starter with the Big Club.
2. Disappointment of spring: Patterson
3. The first baseman should be: Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: Belli
5. The shortstop should be: Ian Desmond
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Harris, Mackowiak, Lopez, Guzman.
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Maxwell, Desmond, Lannan, Clippard, Mock.
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: August 29th
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: 2009
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: There aren't any.

Posted by: 6th and D | March 27, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Johnson and Hanrahan
2. Disappointment of spring: Lopez
3. The first baseman should be: Johnson
4. The second baseman should be:
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Mackowiak
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Orr
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: April 23
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: May 1
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: I hope to find out next year!

Posted by: BRothbart | March 27, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: (a) Nick Johnson is healthy; (b) Hanrahan's ERA

2. Disappointment of spring: Catching platoon injuries; outfield injuries; pitching injuries -- a lot of creaky bones for a supposedly "young" team.

3. The first baseman should be: Nick Johnson. Sorry, Dmitri, you gotta show up.

4. The second baseman should be: Belliard.

5. The shortstop should be: Guzman

6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Estrada.

7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan.

8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: After all-star break.

9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: May 1

Posted by: MVMike | March 27, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"Let me get this straight. The game starts at 8, and the grandstand seats go on sale at 3, and we're supposed to go into the stadium immediately, and we're not allowed to leave?

Way to be family friendly with the cheap seats. Have any of these idiots ever MET a child????"

First of all this is a great idea because it prevents scalping. Also, it is better to get their early or you will be one of those who complained in 2005 about not getting in to see the Prez's 1st pitch.

Also, you should not be bringing a child to a 8:00 PM game. This game will most likely end around 11:30 or 12:00. That is way too late for a child. So stop complaining.

What would you like them to do? If you could purchase tickets and leave then nonfans would purchase the tickets for $5 and be selling them for $100+

Posted by: BRothbart | March 27, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else see this on Nats dot com?

"But the silver lining to Chico's day came from his new high-leg delivery which impressed the Braves. They noticed that the new maneuver helped Chico add more miles to his fastball. In the past, the Braves knew Chico as a guy who threw in the low-to-mid 80s. But, on Wednesday, they were surprised to see that Chico was throwing in the 90s."

We've seen reports here of Chico's fastball consistently hitting 87-88 but if it looks like a 90's fastball to hitters wouldn't that be an indication that he's got that "late pop" that we've heard so much about this spring? An indication of good things to come for Chico?

Posted by: MKevin | March 27, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Most of the comments out there follow what I had to say, not much worth adding, EXCEPT:

Biggest Disappointment of the Spring:

With the wealth of serviceable options for second base, quality trade bait at first and second, maybe even a pitching prospect or two (!), nothing got done to improve us at shortstop!

Posted by: Gusto | March 27, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"315--don't take kids to a baseball game???? Opening Day isn't a good day for kids? You clearly are one of those jerks who refuses to put your dog on a leash in Lincoln Park." Seriously...who do you think is coming off as the jerk here? What time Sunday night do you think the game is likely to end, and what time will it be before you get home? Monday is a schoolday -- are you really saying it's a good idea to keep the kiddies out to midnight or beyond? Or, are you one of those....jerks....who wanted to buy a bunch of tickets then leave after a couple of innings?

There will be plenty to complain about year. How the Nats try to ensure that the last 500 tickets available for the opener aren't scalped isn't among them..

Posted by: Sunday Night Game | March 27, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

opening day the first game in a new stadium is *not* the day to complain about a mad rush for $5 tickets being not family friendly. it's kind of foolish to expect it to be family friendly under those circumstances.

middle of june? that's a different issue.

Posted by: 231 | March 27, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Steven,

You are absolutely correct. Dads taking their Kids to baseball games is what it is all about, even OD. Don't pay attention to knuckleheads who don't get it.

This whole OD Ticket process has been a complete fiasco and it appears the folks that took the brunt of it are families like yours and mine...and "e's".

Posted by: Section 505/203 | March 27, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Hanrahan
2. Disappointment of spring: Patterson
3. The first baseman should be: Nick
4. The second baseman should be: Ronnie
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: No one
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Orr, but not sure who drop
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: 4/13/08
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: 4/23/08
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: JD's Sports Bar on Fiske Blvd. Outstanding, and free popcorn too!

Posted by: GONATS | March 27, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

315--don't take kids to a baseball game???? Opening Day isn't a good day for kids? You clearly are one of those jerks who refuses to put your dog on a leash in Lincoln Park. Get a life.

Steven, I'm sorry you took offense to my message. I'm just saying that Opening Night might not be best game to take your kid since you would have to get there 4 to 5 hours BEFORE the game even starts just for the chance to get tickets. I think baseball games are great places to take kids, in fact I took my son to his first game when he was 5 months old (October 1, 2006) which happened to be Frank Robinson's last game as coach. I'll also be taking him to the O's exhibition game Saturday evening. Again, sorry you're so angry about my post. Also, what does letting your dog off its leash have to do with baseball and kids?? Please explain. Thanks and if you do go to the game I hope you and your kid enjoy it.

Posted by: 315 | March 27, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Hanrahan
2. Disappointment of spring: FLop
3. The first baseman should be: Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Harris
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Orr
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: After the All-Star break -
April 13: John Lannan
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 20
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: What's that got to do with Nats baseball?

Posted by: johnbear | March 27, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

OK, first of all, I don't need any of you jerks telling me how to raise my kid.

Second, I'll bet my bottom dollar, every one of you jerks tellng me not to take my family to the game is from VA or MD. How much got looted from your states for this boondoggle? As far as I'm concerned, only DC TAXPAYERS should be allowed to go to this game. We paid for the damn thing.

Scalpers??? Gimme a break. I guess the only scalping that's allowed is on Stub Hub, so MLB can get a cut.

If MLB wants no fans at all in 30 years, just keep doing what you're doing. World Series games on after midnight on school nights, game tickets through the roof, etc.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | March 27, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Steven - go buy some O's tix.. lots of empty seats there

Posted by: Steven Sucks | March 27, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Steven, you're really mad.

My list is is pretty much the same too. My big disappointment is that Flores is only here temporarily.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 27, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

For all those of you complaining about our Opening Night policy regarding the $5 seats, I would like to remind you that there are many fine seats throughout Nationals Park go metro available for those who purchase a full or half season ticket package to see your Washington Nationals. go metro. You can then enter the park at you leisure, go metro but you will want to arrive early to experience all the fun and exciting new family fun at the new Nationals Park. GO METRO!!!!

Posted by: S. "Go Metro" K. | March 27, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

For all those of you complaining about our Opening Night policy regarding the $5 seats, I would like to remind you that there are many fine seats throughout Nationals Park go metro available for those who purchase a full or half season ticket package to see your Washington Nationals. go metro. You can then enter the park at you leisure, go metro but you will want to arrive early to experience all the fun and exciting new family fun at the new Nationals Park. GO METRO!!!!

Posted by: "Go Metro" K. | March 27, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring:
Many to choose from, I'll go with Hanrahan

2. Disappointment of spring:
Felipe Lopez not winning a job (or yet traded for prospects)

3. The first baseman should be:
Nick "The Lightning Bolt" Johnson

4. The second baseman should be:
SHOULD be Ronnie, but I wish it were Felipe

5. The shortstop should be:
Guzman, we need him to deliver something on all the money he's earned so far

6. Made the team, but shouldn't have:
I'm just happy we have 5 outfielders better than Langerhans

7. Didn't make the team, but should have:
Lannan, but it makes sense

8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: He'll be ready to go the 2nd week of April

9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 15th

10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: Miss Brown's Tea Housssse-ah

Posted by: AJ | March 27, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

1. Joel Hanrahan
2. John Patterson
3. Nick Johnson
4. Ronnie Belliard
5. Cristian Guzman
6. Felipe Lopez
7. Pete Orr
8. 4/13/08 (i'm feeling optimistic right now.)
9. 5/2/08
10. Panera, of couse!
11. John Lannan will make his debut when Tim Redding goes to the DL in mid-April.

Posted by: Mary | March 27, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Steven,

You just lost me. I'm from Northern VA born and raised and still live there.

And your comments about DC Taxpayers also lost me and is just flat out dopey. VA and MD folks coming into your city 81 times a year are going to provide a great deal of money to DC. So, don't hate on us.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | March 27, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Joel Hanrahan
2. Disappointment of spring: John Patterson not getting back to form
3. The first baseman should be: Nik Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: Ronnie Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: Felipe Lopez
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Rob Macowiak
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: John Lannan
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: April 13
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 11
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: In Barry we trust: Panera

Posted by: Lou | March 27, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Steven,

A couple of points.

1. Yes, I am from Viriginia. Please note that I help pay for the stadium by going to the games, eating at restaurants during the work week, etc.... You may or may not pay more in taxes that I do. I don't think you know enough about me or vice-versa to determine who pays me.
2. I agree with you about World Series games starting too late. One of my fondest memories was attending Game 4 of the 1979 World Series in Pittsburgh. It was a day game! Kent Tekulve got rocked by the O's, but the Bucs won in 7 thanks to Pops Stargell.
3. Why are you so angry?

Posted by: 315 | March 27, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

So, for those of you keeping score, Steven's "jerk" list consists of:

--Anyone commenting on the inappropriateness of a ballgame starting at 8 p.m. for kids on a school night.
--Anyone living in Virginia or Maryland.
--Anyone living in DC who supported the "boondoggle"
--Anyone who worries about scalpers. "Scalpers???" "Playoffs???"
--MLB/Stub Hub. (Not related but...whatever.)

It really is a darned shame you and your family won't be able to join us at the game. I bet you're a lot of fun once you get a few beers in you.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

So, for those of you keeping score, Steven's "jerk" list consists of:

--Anyone commenting on the inappropriateness of a ballgame starting at 8 p.m. for kids on a school night.
--Anyone living in Virginia or Maryland.
--Anyone living in DC who supported the "boondoggle"
--Anyone who worries about scalpers. "Scalpers???" "Playoffs???"
--MLB/Stub Hub. (Not related but...whatever.)

It really is a darned shame you and your family won't be able to join us at the game. I bet you're a lot of fun once you get a few beers in you.

Posted by: Get A Life..or a Season Package | March 27, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

So, for those of you keeping score, Steven's "jerk" list consists of:

--Anyone commenting on the inappropriateness of a ballgame starting at 8 p.m. for kids on a school night.
--Anyone living in Virginia or Maryland.
--Anyone living in DC who supported the "boondoggle"
--Anyone who worries about scalpers. "Scalpers???" "Playoffs???"
--MLB/Stub Hub. (Not related but...whatever.)

It really is a darned shame you and your family won't be able to join us at the game. I bet you're a lot of fun once you get a few beers in you.

Posted by: Get A Life..or a Season Package | March 27, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring:
John Lannan with Nick Johnson a close 2nd. I don't think any of us expected Johnson to come in that great of shape.

2. Disappointment of spring:
John Patterson. Expected to be our ace, but just couldn't stay healthy.

3. The first baseman should be:
Nick Johnson by far.
4. The second baseman should be:
Belly. He's been on a tear in ST and has a decent glove.
5. The shortstop should be:
Guzzman.
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have:
Nobody
7. Didn't make the team, but should have:
This is obviously John Lannan.
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date:
April 7th at home against the Marlins.

9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date:
April 12th

10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at:

Panera

Posted by: Wily Mo Pablo | March 27, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: players read the journal!
2. Disappointment of spring: no lightening bolt photos yet.
3. The first baseman should be: Nick Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: Belly
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Lo Duca
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Arod
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: June 1st
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: May 1st
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: no idea.

we can find something to be mad about anywhere. we're talking about opening day!

Posted by: longterm | March 27, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Hanrahan
2. Disappointment of spring: Injuries
3. The first baseman should be: Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Boone
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: 4/13
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: 4/1
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: Panera?

Posted by: Jeff | March 27, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully this will be last post of the day.

In my original post I listed Felipe Lopez as my biggest disappointment. If I may, I'd like to change my answer to Steven on Capital Hill.

Posted by: 315 | March 27, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

No reason to be angry right now. Whether you're at the ballpark or at home, THERE WILL BE BASEBALL TO WATCH ON SUNDAY!

It's nice to have the reassurance that out of the next 6 months, 162 of those days will be good ones.

No worries everyone.

Posted by: davidson | March 27, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Steven-

Your points are incredibly well constructed and have swayed my opinion.

I will be returning my season tickets and will forego spending the thousands of dollars I planned on spending in DC this year.

I live in Virginia...thanks for the ballpark. Tell the DC school kids I apologize for those that diverted the bonds and specific taxes on baseball district businesses away from the schools.

These same bonds that wouldnt have been financed for schools, but were instead financed for a ballpark that will generate millions of dollars of positive cashflow (even based on the gloomiest of financial predicitions) for DC.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 27, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I concur with most of the views responding to Barry's post of 10 questions. If I'd hung around in Viera (where exactly is downtown Viera anyway?) much this week, I'm sure I'd have liked the sandwiches at Panera, but I'll vote for the taco in a helmet at Space Coast--way better than the Italian sausage!

I will add some observations having seen the Nats twice this week in Florida (and a third time later today). First, if the two plate appearances I witnessed from Aaron Boone are any indication, we're not putting him in games for his bat--he looked like he couldn't find the ball. Second, I know we need a leftie in the bullpen, but our man King didn't fool anyone among Atlanta's second stringers yesterday! Third, Milledge and Dukes look like they have promise, but they're clearly still learning (the good news is they're learning!); Lastings hammered a pitch from Atlanta that had the left fielder not made a well timed jump at the left field wall would have tied the game yesterday. Fourth, I guess the Braves were surprised--initially--with Chico. He made it through the line up once, and then his "faster" pitches just kind of looked ordinary. Jason Bergmann looked sharper against Detroit on Monday. Fifth, the contrast between the way Lightening Bolt Johnson plays in the field healthy and the way Meat Hook Young misplays is stunningly clear--Bergmann might likely not have lost the game to Detroit on Monday if Johnson had been playing in the field. (Alas, Nick's new hair style isn't readily apparent under his batting helment!) And finally, whatever one thinks of Space Coast Stadium, the Nationals have clearly toned the place up from the descriptions in the "how to go to spring training" books I read before visiting. Shade's a problem (there is none), but the place is clean and nice (though not as classically entertaining as Tigerland and Disney).

Can't wait to see these guys play in the new park!

Posted by: Carl in 308 | March 27, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Hanrahan, with NJ and Lannan tying for second
2. Disappointment of spring: Patterson; he was supposed to the opening night starter
3. The first baseman should be: Nick Johnson even though I love Da Meat
4. The second baseman should be: Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman until he gets injured or can't break the Mendoza line
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Harris
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan (with Orr a close second)
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: April 13th (I'm a believer)
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 23rd
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: Never been to Viera but I do enjoy the Panera in Ballston

Posted by: Salty | March 27, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

by the way, anyone else notice the "Metro is Crumbling" article right next to the "Take Metro!!" ads?

Posted by: longterm | March 27, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring:
Lannan pushing to make the squad
2. Disappointment of spring:
Two-fold - Middle infield situation not resolved and Hill/WMP hurt

3. The first baseman should be:
Nick the Stick
4. The second baseman should be:
Belliard
5. The shortstop should be:
Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have:
A. Boone
7. Didn't make the team, but should have:
Orr
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: I fear continuing problems - May 22

9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 17

10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: Panera, of course

Posted by: macman | March 27, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Dukes, Milledge, Johnson

2. Disappointment of spring: Felipe Lopez

3. The first baseman should be: NJ

4. The second baseman should be: Brian Roberts (oh, definitely Ronnie Belliard)

5. The shortstop should be: The Guz

6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Ray King

7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Chris Schroder (and probably John Lannan)

8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: no comment

9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: week and a half-two weeks into season

10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: is there a greene turtle down there?

Posted by: Section 111 (formerly 223 @ RFK) | March 27, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Lannan/Hanrahan
2. Disappointment of spring: Young/Lopez
3. The first baseman should be: Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Chico
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: May 1
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 15
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: Panera

Posted by: Ashburn | March 27, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

This whole Steven fiasco has me wondering. How many tickets is each person allowed to buy? Will they even let you buy for a family of four at the gate on Opening Night? Is it going to be just a mad house of fans lined up and then have tons of people turned away? Or will no one take the risk?

Posted by: GoNats | March 27, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

GoNats - you're only allowed to buy one ticket per person. So if you have a family of four all four have to be in line together. Steven can't go early, buy 4 tickets and then take the short walk home and come back later with his family. One of the reasons is that they don't want thousands of people coming down an hour before game time to try and get 500 tickets. It's going to be a mad house with the President throwing out the first pitch, etc..

Posted by: 315 | March 27, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Glad I'm a Season Ticket Holder taking Metro then. Barry, is our experience taking Metro the kind of thing we can comment on in the other Post blog you mentioned?

Posted by: GoNats | March 27, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe this but I've been looking for the Post's graphics on how to get there for 10 minutes and can't find them. We've been bombarded for weeks and I can't find the stupid maps. Sheesh.
Help anyone?

Posted by: NatsNut | March 27, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at:
a) Panera is OK but predictable.
b) Mahi-mahi taco at Goombay's (Satellite
Beach) is outstanding.
c) Cuban sandwich at Space Coast Stadium
was a pleasant surprise.
I tried to, but could not, find grilled Sandhills Crane.

Posted by: Sandhills Native | March 27, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I hear a lot of complaints about how the opening tix were handed out but no alternatives. What were they supposed to do? This is the hottest sporting ticket in DC since the glory days of the Skins being in an NFC Championship game at RFK. At least w/ the $5 tix, they are offering a way for an average joe, w/ limited funds to get tix. Not many people can afford season tix to be assured OD seats but anyone can go wait in line on Sunday and buy a $5 seat and be there for the history. I'm very tempted actually.

Posted by: Avar | March 27, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Okay. Never mind. Found it. But it was buried. Post online should maybe have an all-things-opening-day reference box on the front page for the next couple of days.

http://tinyurl.com/378jag

Posted by: NatsNut | March 27, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Nat's PITCHING (both bullpen strength and prospects)

2. Disappointment of spring: John Patterson and Felipe Lopez

3. The first baseman should be: Nick Johnson

4. The second baseman should be: Ronnie Belliard
(We could really use a home grown INF to replace Belliard next year... any good possible free agents for next year assuming Belliard could be traded?)

5. The shortstop should be: Christian Guzman
(Same as 2nd baseman... could use homegrown talent. Any ready to produce? I doubt Bowden will sign Guzman to another lengthy contract after all of his struggles... any good future FAs?)

6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Felipe Lopez (or some back-up outfielder out of options)

7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan

8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: 4/7

9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: 4/15

10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: How the heck would I know?! And shouldn't the question be best food or recommendation at Nat'l Park?

Posted by: Tim- C'ville | March 27, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Steinberg reports that Five Guys will be at Nationals Park, sweet! Check out his blog for more info.

Mostly disappointed in FLop, really wanted to see him come out tearin it up...

Posted by: G-town | March 27, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

10. Best sandwich in Viera: the Cuban sandwich at Space Coast Stadium.

Posted by: Pattie | March 27, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm dissapointed that Trader Jim didn't pull anything off. This stems from Flip and Meat's dissapointing performances.

I'm also dissapointed that none of the newer young exciting pitchers made the rotation.

I agree with the roster moves until proven otherwise.

Pleasant surprise is that I GET TO SEE NATS PARK IN TWO DAYS

Posted by: nattaboy | March 27, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Johnson's comeback
2. Disappointment of spring: Losing Svrluga
3. The first baseman should be: Johnson (c'mon)
4. The second baseman should be: Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: fool us once, shame on you; fool us twice, shame on us; fool us three times, then we're damn fools
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Lopez (where's the trade?)
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: 2009 with the Reds
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 23
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: DNK, but in Barry we trust - Panera

Posted by: joemktg | March 27, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Hill, I think the more important question is when will he make his second start. I have a nagging feeling we'll get a 2008 debut on April 13, followed by pain that doesn't go away, a missed start, medical mysteries, treks to Canada and nerve specialists ... oh wait, I'm thinking of John Patterson...

Posted by: SuicideSqueeze | March 27, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut, it looks like the Waterfront/SEU metro station is only 5-6 blocks from the park. I haven't seen this option discussed much, but if Navy Yard is overloaded I might try it out. Anybody aware of any reason this might be a bad idea?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 27, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Nick Johnson's health

2. Disappointment of spring: John Patterson's health

3. The first baseman should be: Nich Johnson

4. The second baseman should be: Ronnie Belliard

5. The shortstop should be: Christian Guzman

6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: I think everyone on the roster right now has a chance to carry their weight

7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Chris Schroder... he was the odd man out in the bullpen even though he very well may be as good as several of the guys who are there

8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: April 13th... positive thinking

9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 15th... positive thinking

10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: I hope to find out one of these years

Posted by: Ghost | March 27, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

415 / Steve o Cap Hill

I find it funny all the bickering back and forth about opening day tix. I wish I had any tix at all. BTW, I wouldn't be taking my kids 'cause I'd be drinking sweet golden beverages. They'd watch at home nestled in the mother's arms. No, instead I'll be watching at home nestled in their mother's arm, drink a cold one to keep the home fires burning. I love cable and I love the USA !!!

Go Nats!!!

Posted by: NiceNat | March 27, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

415 / Steve o Cap Hill

I find it funny all the bickering back and forth about opening day tix. I wish I had any tix at all. BTW, I wouldn't be taking my kids 'cause I'd be drinking sweet golden beverages. They'd watch at home nestled in the mother's arms. No, instead I'll be watching at home nestled in their mother's arm, drink a cold one to keep the home fires burning. I love cable and I love the USA !!!

Go Nats!!!

Posted by: NiceNat | March 27, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

i left something off of my "positive surprise" list...

NJ heeded the advice of NJ to shave lightning bolts into his hair! seriously, i was surprised he went for it, but how cool!

Posted by: 231 | March 27, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

So any guesses on how the remaining "questions" will work out? To my mind they are;

1. Who will be sent down to make room for Shawn Hill?

2. Who will be sent down to make room for Willy Mo Pena?

3. What order will the AAA pitchers be called up for their shot through the season?

4. Who will be the first Nats starter traded?

Posted by: estuartj | March 27, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, what are we talking about here in the grandstand - maybe 400 seats? Should the team be damned for saving too few seats, or praised for saving any at all? Should they be ridiculed for not trying to sell all their tickets? What is this fiasco people keep talking about? Three years ago they told everyone that season ticket holders with the longest history would get first crack at tickets. They kept their word. Scalping is unavoidable and legal. Capitalism is the basis for the economy. Supply and demand.

BTW, did anyone else see that the Yankees will be charging up to $2500 for those seats right behind home plate next year in their new stadium? Makes the $300 seats here look a little less absurd (but only a little less).

My only complaints to date on this whole deal, is that more parking could be made available sooner (seriously, it could) and if rumors of an $8 Budweiser are true I will actually spend less ($8) than if the beer were $6 each ($12). Classic make it up in volume argument.

Posted by: NatBisquit | March 27, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Bob L.,

I considered the alternate metro station thing but I hear its a bit of an ugly walk. I think people will be arriving pretty staggered so I am not worried about that. On the other hand, everyone streaming out of the station -- it might be a good idea to follow a large crowd to the alternate station. After all its safety in numbers. But I do hear its more of a trek than it appears.

I am more wondering how bad DC will look on National TV when so many people arrive in the 2nd inning and leave after the 6th to beat the rush.

Posted by: GoNats | March 27, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Dukes
2. Disappointment of spring: Young
3. The first baseman should be: Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Boone
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Orr
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: 3/9
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: 5/1
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: Toco in a helmet.

Posted by: ChrisC | March 27, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

To answer my own question...

1. Harris (Manny will keep the bullpen at 7)

2. Mackowiak (only because they have no choice - unless someone is traded)

3. Lannan, Clippard, O'Connor, Detwiler, Balester, Mock.

4. Ronnie Belliard, hopefully for a gold glove quality DEFENSIVE Shortstop (we won't get a Reyes via FA or trade, but a quality defensive player would be a great addition if/when Guzman falls apart or reverts to 2005 level of play).

Posted by: estuartj | March 27, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Elijah Dukes staying out of trouble
2. Disappointment of spring: Starting Pitching is awful.
3. The first baseman should be: Nick Johnson (sorry MeatHook, but your 15 minutes are done)
4. The second baseman should be: Ronnie Belliard (sorry FLOP but your attitude needs adjusting)
5. The shortstop should be: Derek Jeter (we only could wish)
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Rob Mackowiak, that Harris guy
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: John Lannen, Pete Orr
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: Shawn Hill will suffer the same fate as JPAT, he will be released before ever throwing a pitch in 2008. (The Lerners don't like to pay for inventory that goes stale on the shelf).
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: 01 May 200X (could be a breakout year or a bust for the big guy)
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: My Mother-in-Laws house down in Port St.Lucie, why? They are Free!

Posted by: Tippy Canoe | March 27, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The incoming on Natl TV won't be a problem. Most of us have been around long enough to understand that when POTUS shows up, with advance notice, you better get there early because the Secret Service will be doing everything but orifice searches.

Posted by: Catcher50 | March 27, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

oddly enough, if you type 'nationals stadium, washington, dc' into google maps, it tells you that the washinton nationals stadium is on 14th street between independence and constitution (corner of madison and 14th).

hmmm...

Posted by: 231 | March 27, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Have there been any announcements of additional security precautions? Will I be able to enter with my backpack filled with blankets, camera, and binoculars?

Posted by: chime121 | March 27, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

ESJ:

1. I think Rivera still has options.
2. Harris.
3. Lannan then Clippard.
4. My head says Belliard. Heart says Nobody.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 27, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Have there been any announcements of additional security precautions? Will I be able to enter with my backpack filled with blankets, camera, and binoculars?

Posted by: chime121 | March 27, 2008 12:31 PM


Yes, chime121, but you have to leave your high-powered sniper rifle at home.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 27, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: hanrahan -- and having Svrluga thru all of ST
2. Disappointment of spring: Young
3. The first baseman should be: Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: no one
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: April 13th
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: May 1st
10. Never been to Viera -- yet!

Posted by: nats fan in annandale | March 27, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

what about my binoculars that are actually a flask - a flask that holds 16 oz of my choice beverage - but looks innocently enough like an actual pair of field glasses?

do you think they will smell it? will i be ruined? will they make me pour it out? or god forbid, steal it from me? what will happen, i ask? what will happen?

Posted by: theraph | March 27, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

1. + surprise of spring: Hanrahan, Redding
2. - surprise of spring: Young, Lopez
3. 1B should be: Johnson
4. 2B should be: Belliard
5. SS should be: Guzman
6. made team but shouldn't have: Boone; no trades to excise Lopez
7. didn't but should have: Lannan
8. Shawn Hill's debut: I agree with SuicideSqueeze (debut in May followed by pain, problems, etc.)
9. WMP's debut: 2nd week April
10. best sandwiches in Viera: ???

Agree, too, with the person who asked if anyone else noticed the article about Metro crumbling ($400-some-odd million in repairs needed - little to no funding). Yes, I saw and read part of the article. That's the main reason I didn't go in for more than 5 games on another person's partial season tkt plan. I can't count on our poor beleagured Metro, and its perennial underfunding and infrastructure problems.

Posted by: samantha7 | March 27, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Bob L. Head,

Do you really think that we'll go with a 6 man bullpen? Carrying 14 position players seems a luxury - especially keeping up guys like Harris.

I think the team punted on working out the issue of Infield backups. This is a real problem with DY only able to PH and play 1st.

Posted by: estuartj | March 27, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Hanrahan
2. Disappointment of spring: JP
3. The first baseman should be: NJ
4. The second baseman should be: Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Harris
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: 13 Apr
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: 30 Apr
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: 5 Guys in that far northern suberb of Viera, Woodbridge, VA

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | March 27, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

On Metro:
Alternate stations may be a good idea, but I don't think that Waterfront/SEU would likely be the best option (discounting the problems inherent in the walk to any of the stations) because it is the NEXT station that the trains hit after filling up at Navy Yard for -=*anyone*=- heading toward anyplace other than the Branch Ave end of the Green Line.

The best option probably is (just like RFK) to hang in your seat until the post-game announcements are done (I always seemed to miss the attendance for my score sheet when it was posted on the scoreboard so I got it over the PA at the end) and then head for the "second" (it's an extra block and a half! Ahhh!) entrance at Navy Yard and angle for the end of the train there. "Move down! Move down! Move down!" -- not that most anyone really ever did that and so I _always_ got to sit down on a 3/4 full (sometimes a bit more) car.

The other option (again discounting any issues with the walk), particularly if I was headed for VA, is to walk to Capitol South and have a seat to sit in all the way home while the giant influx at L'Enfant crowds onto the train. I might even be tempted to do that for a change onto either direction of the Red line.

BTW the Nationals commemorative SmarTrip cards are on sale now (see www.wmata.com/nationals)

Posted by: OldGuy | March 27, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Hanrahan and Dukes, honorable mention to Lastings Milledge
2. Disappointment of spring: John Patterson of course, honorable mention to Dmitri Young
3. The first baseman should be: Slick Nick Johnson
4. The second baseman should be: Lopez (Belli is better, but he should be a Cub by opening day)
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman, but maybe if Belliard goes we can acquire a better defensive replacement if/when he reverts to past performance standards.
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Flores - I don't think it's worth having him up and missing starts in AA to carry Lo Duca's bag for a week or two
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Lannan, I would have kept him up until Hill is ready, he could be used out of the pen if nothing else and he's only potential miss 1 AAA start anyway
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: April 13th - on schedule - what he does with that start...
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 9th - word is he's doing better that expected...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Bob L. Head:
If Navy Yard Stations is bad Waterfront station is not that long of a walk. I work right in the area and have been getting on and off Metro at Waterfront every workday for over six years. The area is definitely not the best, but not horrible either. Just stick to M Street. A few weeks ago the city changed the street lights to be much brighter and there are definitely more cops around. I never saw any for years and now I see them in the area every day. For those that are walkers, I can walk from work to L'Enfant Plaza in 15 minutes and I work 5 minutes from the stadium, so I am guessing it would be about 20 to 25 from the stadium to L'Enfant. This gets you to the Blue, Orange and Yellow lines without having to go though the hassle of the Navy Yard station after a game.

------------
NatsNut, it looks like the Waterfront/SEU metro station is only 5-6 blocks from the park. I haven't seen this option discussed much, but if Navy Yard is overloaded I might try it out. Anybody aware of any reason this might be a bad idea?

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 27, 2008 11:54 AM

Posted by: Long time lurker | March 27, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Longtime, and others who commented above on the metro stop options (stoptions?).

ESJ, yes I do think they will carry only 11 pitchers when Hill comes off the DL. That is, as long as I'm right about Rivera having options. I think they will still want to "preserve depth" and avoid releasing or waiving anybody at this early stage.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | March 27, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm up

Posted by: gnu post | March 27, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Nick Johnson (I'm a pessimist I guess - glad he is back to his old form!)
2. Disappointment of spring: Patterson
3. The first baseman should be: NJ
4. The second baseman should be: Belliard
5. The shortstop should be: Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Perez
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: still going to say Patterson, although I think it was the right decision to cut him.
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: I hope April 13th
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: I have no idea
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: Unfortunately I've never been to Viera. :(

Posted by: Patty | March 27, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Well, who knew that anyone cared about my incoherent ranting other than me. Since I've been flattered with so much attention, I'll clarify my basically unrelated bees in my bonnet:

1. $611 million for a baseball stadium. I really think that anyone who took a walk through Eastern High would be taken aback by the inequity between what we spent on the stadium and the community's needs. It's particularly galling to me when MD and VA Nationals fans go off about how great this deal is for the city, because I really think you'd have a different view if you actually lived here and experienced first-hand the community needs that are getting short-shrift. I know most DC voters agree with me, because we voted out of office pretty much every politician we could who supported the deal--Harold Brazil, Kevin Chavous, Linda Cropp... And so, since we live in a democracy, the deal was dead, right? Ok, so I'm still a little bitter about the stadium deal.

2. I think MLB is doing a bunch of not very kid- or family-friendly things. The 8:00 start time of the Opening Day game at Nationals Park is one example. World Series start times, etc. I think this is bad business (failing to invest in your future customers), but also just not very community-minded, and I do think MLB should be quite community-minded given the aforementioned massive public subsidy. That said, I thought the $5 day-of-game deal was a pretty exciting exception to that trend. But I was disappointed to learn that $5 ticket buyers are locked into 9 hours at the stadium, which I think precludes families from taking advantage. There's just no way to entertain a kid that long.

3. Stub Hub. I don't understand why scalping by dudes in the neighborhood is bad but scalping with corporate sponsorship is ok. Stub Hub calls itself the "Official Fan-to-Fan Ticket Marketplace of MLB," which I assume means MLB is getting something from it. So I don't really buy that people should be so inconvenienced that they have to be IN the stadium for 5 hours before first pitch because MLB wants to prevent scalping. Seems to me they want to prevent some kinds of scalping.

4. I think comments about how my kid should be in bed instead of attending a baseball game are out of line. Unsolicited criticism about parenting is generally not welcomed by most parents. FWIW, it isn't a school night for my 4-month-old. Although I'm convinced she's a baseball fans since she woke me up in time to see both of the Oakland-Boston games in Japan.

5. Dogs off leash at Lincoln Park terrorize little kids, rip my pants and get mud on my shirt. It's also illegal. So my little inside joke to myself (like I said, who knew I wasn't just talking to myself?) uses dog people at Lincoln Park as code for any generally selfish, inconsiderate person.

That's all. I apologize for being rude. I really didn't think anyone was paying attention to my venting.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | March 27, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

hey Steven of Capitol Hill, take a break. I'm a Marylander but was born in the district. My mother, and father were born on Capitol Hill. I bet you weren't. My family goes back 4 generations in Washington. I bet yours doesn't. So don't mind me when I tell you, feel free to stop by MY stadium anytime you want to watch the Nats.

Posted by: 6th and D | March 27, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Steven,

The DC Schools were a disaster long before this stadium was built and would have been had the stadium not been built.

That is the ineptness of the DC Gov't alone. When citizens of DC vote in jackasses like Marion Barry over and over that tends to happen.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | March 27, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Lastings Millidge. Good kid from what I saw and the guy has skills.
2. Disappointment of spring: The entire starting pitching staff.
3. The first baseman should be: Nick Johnson. I'd trade Young before its too late and we eat the entire 10 million dollars. Bad signing.
4. The second baseman should be: Ronnie Bellard.
5. The shortstop should be: Felipe Lopez. Guzman isn't going to make it to Memorial Day.
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Luis Ayala. He's going on repuation at this point, and doesn't seem to have much work ethic either from what I witnessed in Viera.
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Pete Orr
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: April 25
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: May 10
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: Cracker Barrel. (Sorry Barry!)

Posted by: Ray | March 27, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm not defending the city. Quite the opposite. I'm not also saying that the stadium ruined the schools, but I do think there are lots of much more pressing community needs, including the schools, than a new stadium. I just don't think we should tolerate decrepit schools like this under any circumstances, but certainly not while we can find money for leisure time luxuries like a baseball stadium. Like I said, most people who live here agree and voted accordingly, but the city folded anyway.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | March 27, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Cap Hill,

There was no money coming from the city's budget to build the stadium. Bonds were sold to investors betting on the success of the stadium project. That's where the dough comes from. If there were no Nats, there would be no 611 million bucks. So, now the city is reaping the tax benefit from all of the construction in and around the stadium in an area that once was blighted and is no more. Again, no Nats, no urban renewal, no increased tax base.

Posted by: Hey Cap Hill | March 27, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

If you think Steven is pissed now, just wait until the District builds me a new stadium.

Posted by: Dan Snyder | March 27, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey Steven,

"Although I'm convinced she's a baseball fans since she woke me up in time to see both of the Oakland-Boston games in Japan.
...
"I really didn't think anyone was paying attention to my venting."

Heh. Let me say welcome to you and your daughter into this community. In the future, your arguments pro or con will be welcomed as long as they are stated clearly and not rants. And yes, we do pay attention to each other here (for some reason) ;)

For what it is worth, I live in VA because I would not live in DC for most of the reasons you point out about what sucks DC. I hope that the money I drop in DC on a regular basis, which has only increased since the team came to town, helps in some small way to improve the schools and other aspects of the city. By the way, there are lots of houses for rent and for sale out here in Falls Church within walking distance of two metro stations. We have really good schools. I'm just sayin'. You've got a couple of years to think about it I suppose.

I also think that MLB is getting waaaaaaaay to sweet of a deal from both local (like, free stadiums) and the federal governments (antitrust protection) to be acting so much in its own interest rather than the interest of the average fans. If it really is as much of a buisness as all that, let them buy their own buildings and deal with competition.

Finally, although I always say that opening day at the ballpark is like church on Easter (an exciting but annoying time for regular attenders), I'm so excited about the new park that I will likely line up at 3:00 with my buddies to try to get a ticket.

But if you really wanted to be sure that you were going to get in, and you didn't want to try to entertain a kid for nine hours, just go to StubHub or CraigsList.

Posted by: i hate walks | March 27, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Linda Cropp ran for mayor and did not get voted out of office. She wasn't elected mayor and the baseball stadium had something to do with that.

As others have stated it wasn't a one or the other deal. If they didn't spend the money on the stadium they wouldn't have had it spend on anything else because they wouldn't have gotten the bond ratings to borrow the money to put in schools etc.

Hopefully, the nats will be really successful and the area will be built up like the area around the MCI center and the City will benefit. The city is already benefiting from the increase in property taxes. This of course hurts the people that live in the area and won't be able to afford to live there and will be forced out.

If you are going to be outraged then be outraged on how much we have wasted fighting in Iraq. We could have done a lot with that $3 trillion +.

I just don't know what the Nats could do. They are trying to make as many people happy as they can. It is hard to accomodate everyone when you only have X amount of seats and have lots of people who want those seats. Lines are going to be long going into the stadium on Sunday and this will help those lines and ensure that "true" fans get tickets. How would you have handled it?

Posted by: brothbart | March 27, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"If you are going to be outraged then be outraged on how much we have wasted fighting in Iraq. We could have done a lot with that $3 trillion +."

Thank You for your input John Murtha. Now go have another donut.

Posted by: Military Mike | March 27, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barry...enjoy your spring break in DC. Panera Bread in Viera will never have the publicity here that you give it each spring. Hope to see you again next year!

Posted by: hawkize | March 27, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Steven on Capitol Hill: the bee in my bonnet is people who come to a blog with die hard Nationals fans and try to anger them on the eve of opening their new ballpark by raising four year old political arguments that failed.

I'm going to enjoy opening day, the new stadium and having a baseball team in DC for the rest of my life. I hope that there's something in your life that might give you some joy too.

Posted by: Ray | March 27, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey Danny! Mayor Fenty is working his butt off trying to score a return of the Redskins to the site where RFK sits. I hope you take him up on it.

Posted by: Capitol Heights | March 27, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

1.Nick Johnson 2.John Patterson 3.Slick Nick(Dimitri is not worth keeping on the team if all he can do is pinch hit and play first) 4.Felipe Lopez(I know he had a bad spring but i think belliard can bring more in a trade) 5.Guzy 6.Joel Hanrahan or Chico 7.Pete Orr and John Lanahn or Chris Scroder 8.April 17 9.April 27 10.Penera Bread all the way

Posted by: DJ 26 | March 27, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Powerboater wins the Rachel Ray award:
Best Sandwiches: Meathook's Kitchen!

Posted by: 1st Base Coach | March 27, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

1. Positive surprise of spring: Joel Hanrahan, Nick Johnson
2. Disappointment of spring: Dmitri, Hill's forearm
3. The first baseman should be: NJ
4. The second baseman should be: Felipe Lopez (just like having Belliard as PH better, Lopez fields well at 2B
5. The shortstop should be: Christian Guzman
6. Made the team, but shouldn't have: Matt Chico (would like to see Lannan there)
7. Didn't make the team, but should have: Somehow wish they could make room for Pete Orr -- could he do better than Felipe if he still struggles?
8. Shawn Hill will make his debut on this date: May 1
9. Wily Mo Pena will make his debut on this date: April 20
10. The best sandwiches in Viera are served at: Don't know, but am dying to find out in Spring 2009!

I'm thrilled to get the season started. GO NATS!

Posted by: natswriter | March 27, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Steven of Capitol Hill:

Welcome to blog-notoriety. But you deserve it. Because, unfortunately, you are coming in from a very unsympathetic angle (at least with this blog group) because your argument seemingly has more anger than reason.
According to your Nat's ticket argument, a similar scenerio could be based on: 'If the Beatles were to resurrect from the dead and put on a late night Sunday concert, in a DC stadium, you would be pissed that you and your kid couldn't get walk-up tickets for $5 bucks.
Hey! Since when do we not live in a 'supply & demand' economy?
Dude...for the deal you are looking for, you will just have to wait for when the demand goes down. Try buying tix for you & the kid in another week or two--you'll find the experience much more user-friendly.

Posted by: 1st Base Coach | March 27, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

1st Base Coach (Spicoli),

"Dude...for the deal you are looking for, you will just have to wait for when the demand goes down."


I don't want to stick up for Steven because he is clearly out of touch but, referring to him as "Dude", what are you 17.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | March 27, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Section 505/203:

Speaking of being out of touch!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dude

Posted by: 1st Base Coach | March 28, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

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