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A New (Fair) Park

* UPDATE, 8:52 p.m. -- It's still raining hard here, but we've gotten no official word on a cancellation. Nats PR man Bill Gluvna says that MLB is adamant about trying to get this one in. If that somehow happens, the brave dozens still huddling under the overhangs here will get a reward... or maybe just a bad night's sleep.

* UPDATE, 7:45 p.m. -- still no update on a start time.

---

So, maybe we get this one in tonight. Maybe we don't. Maybe it starts, then stops, then starts again, and ends some time around the moment when I should be driving to Philly tomorrow. Either way, there won't be a game at Nats Park after tonight, so it's fair time to look at the ballpark, one season down.

Credit in any analysis herein goes to ESPN's Park Factor data, which measures how parks favor either hitters or pitchers. There was speculation entering this season about how the new ballpark would play. Most guessed it would be fairly neutral, and that's pretty much what has happened.

Twelve ballparks in baseball are more favorable to hitters. Seventeen are more favorable to pitchers.

"Fair. I like it," Manny Acta said. "You know, we said all along there are no cheap home runs. Guys have to hit them, and we like that. It gives both teams equal opportunity."

The switch to Nats Park has created a profound difference. RFK was a pitcher's best friend, and ranked 27th among ballparks in runs created.

Park Factor compares the rate of stats at home against the rate of stats on the road, with anything above 1.000 favoring hitters. RFK in 2007 was a 0.874. This year, Nats Park was a 1.042.

"To me, it's in between," Acta said. "I don't think anybody has a full advantage, but it's not like some of those ballparks where the pitcher would be afraid to make a mistake where it will be an automatic home run."

By Chico Harlan  |  September 25, 2008; 7:16 PM ET
 
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Comments

This data is skewed, as you cannot provide reliable insight with the NONSENSE THAT PLAYS ON THE FIELD!!!! 81 games with major league talent will provide better results.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Its cold and wet in section 128. Any word in the pressbox Chico, if there's a strategy to get this game going?

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | September 25, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm calling it...a day. Will check ESPN later.

Posted by: Patty | September 25, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

this indeed seems to be the final indignity thrust upon nats fans by the lerners. a delayed start on a cold and rainy night for a game relevant only to learn whether the nats will get the no. 1 draft choice. some fan appreciation night, huh?

Posted by: natsscribe | September 25, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Patty:

The most 100 loss teams in one season, at least in the past 15 years, would be 4, in 2002 (Tampa, Detroit, KC, and Milwaukee). Since 2001, there have been 2 teams with 100+ 3 times (2001, 2004, and 2006). Between 1980 and 2000, there were more than 1 team with 100 losses in a season 4 times. Probably the unbalanced schedule, big budgets, and divisional play have something to do with this.

I posted a link to a blog that has a list of all 100 win and 100 loss teams. Here it is again:
http://tinyurl.com/3qng7u
===========================


Are there normally multiple 100 game losers in the league in any given season? Seems like a lot this year, but maybe that is just because I am actually paying attention. Zimm must still be sick.

Posted by: Patty | September 25, 2008 6:34 PM

Posted by: PTBNL | September 25, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

OTOH, had the game been canceled, perhaps some attendees would have been disappointed about missing the prizes and raffles? (not there myself but speculating - hope that the hot beverages hold out for those who are there)

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 25, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

"this indeed seems to be the final indignity thrust upon nats fans by the lerners. "

So you're blaming the Lerners for the weather now?

Posted by: what's next, you blame them for the sun going down every day and stealing your daylight? | September 25, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

But... but... Bowden PROMISED I would win tonight!

Posted by: TR | September 25, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

One thing I don't remember seeing mentioned: What if Seattle decides they can't afford $10MM for Strasburg?

Posted by: CE | September 25, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

SOMEBODY at nats park before the scheduled starting time should have had the good sense to check the weather reports. all of them contained the same four-letter word....rain.

Posted by: natsscribe | September 25, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Bowden also hung the moon and the sun and guaranteed blue skies... you're going down, Teddy! (maniacal laughter)

Posted by: NR Abe | September 25, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, they could have sprung for adding on a roof, heat lamps, even, but nooooooooooo...

****************
"this indeed seems to be the final indignity thrust upon nats fans by the lerners."

So you're blaming the Lerners for the weather now?

Posted by: what's next, you blame them for the sun going down every day and stealing your daylight? | September 25, 2008 8:20 PM

Posted by: ce | September 25, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

And done what?
******************
SOMEBODY at nats park before the scheduled starting time should have had the good sense to check the weather reports. all of them contained the same four-letter word....rain.

Posted by: natsscribe | September 25, 2008 8:37 PM

Posted by: sigh, methinks ... | September 25, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Interesting question, really: which way would it skew? More offense for the other team, less for the home team; does it balance out? Or was Nats pitching actually worse than the hitting?

***************
This data is skewed, as you cannot provide reliable insight with the NONSENSE THAT PLAYS ON THE FIELD!!!! 81 games with major league talent will provide better results.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 7:22 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Remember, if the managers have not exchanged lineup cards the home team and not the umps decide how long to wait before starting a game. Not being there, I don't know if the cards were actually exchanged,

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 25, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

@sigh

...called the game so that patrons wouldn't have to spend more than an hour-and-a-half past the original starting time at a cold, wet stadium. that's what.

Posted by: natsscribe | September 25, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Doubt it, leetee, since the start time was put off some time ago.

Posted by: ce | September 25, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

On the radio pregame show, they indicated that the umps would decide in this case.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 25, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, the giveaways to this point have consisted of Clint hawking buy 1 get 1 papa johns and scratch off tix to unlikely souls.

On the bright side, the tarps are coming off.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | September 25, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Bummer about the giveaways, LDO. Good for you for hanging in there!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 25, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Cubs 3, Mets 3 end of 6

Posted by: and how tight are those guys gonna be this weekend? | September 25, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

"The" Bill Gluvna, of Golden Gluvna fame? We are not worthy.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 25, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Chico,

Hate to nitpick, but unless it's developed differently, Park Factor may be a Bill James Stat. It may be a SABR Stat. It ain't an ESPN Stat.

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 25, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter which section you're on... they are all wet and drippy.... but LDO... you're right.... 128 is very wet and drippy... but there goes the tarp!!!

Posted by: wigi | September 25, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

3 run dinger, Michael Hoffpauir, top of 7 in the rain. Cubs 6, Mets 3!!

Posted by: CE and his Cubs-fan wife | September 25, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Tarp coming back on. Premature Tarpulation.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | September 25, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Hi, Wigi!

Hee hee re. developments in the Mets game...

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 25, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Oops... false alarm... tarp back on.

Posted by: wigi | September 25, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

So I was watching Gameday for the Mets game (usually I'm Charlie and Daveing it). Took me a moment to figure out that an "intent ball" was not a purpose pitch but the first pitch for a intentional base on balls. Duh.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 25, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Tonight might just be the night that the Lerners finally lose my and their access to my wallet.

Sure, I knew it was gonna be a little wet tonight - but its the last home game and, ahem, FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT ya know.

Seriously, I cant imagine what in the hell they were thinking... where were the promised prizes and giveaways? The couple thousand people that showed up tonight are certainly the CORE of your fan base. We showed up for a meaningless game on a wet night to show our support for out players and the Lerners showed that they only cared to keep the concessions open one more night

Arrived at 6:15 thinking there might be a little fanfare. Nope. Nothin. Sat there for two hours in various levels of sprinkle/rain. Wouldnt that have been a good time to have stupid Clint giving away crap. Put it up on the video screen, give us something to do other than increasingly think how stupid we are for sitting there!

I hear that Clint was giving away 2 for 1 pizza coupons - cant you get that deal every Tuesday by picking up the phone? oh and he had some ice cream coupons for kids.

Why wasnt there a promotional item for everyone.. man, with only a few thousand people in attendance they certainly still have left over t-shirts to hand out!

Alot of minor league teams offer 1/2 price concessions during rainouts or dollar dogs

Not at the Food Court on South Capitol- there they put the Mets game on the jumbotron and continue as usual, because SOCH and all the other naysayers might be right.. the Lerners dont care about the product nearly as much as selling $7.50 beers and $5 hot dogs.

The saving grace for me in all of this is that I was able to have a long talk with a couple other guys who sit in my section and everyone seemed to be in agreement that we get very, very little from being season ticket holders and that it is a much better financial decision to buy day-of tix in 09

Posted by: Angry in Alexandria | September 25, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Game canceled according to MASN

Posted by: BSG | September 25, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

PF just compares the Nats performance at home vs. away. How the opposing team does in Nats Park isn't a factor.

But it takes a few years for the random fluctuations to balance out. I think the biggest thing holding down our very slight hitter's park potential is the lack of lefty power. The short-ish porch over the out of town scoreboard should provide some additional scoring.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | September 25, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

to Angry in Alexandria: thanks for the information. Sorry to hear about your evening. I was really tempted to head out there tonight as it was barely raining when I left work. I knew it would be a miserable evening weather-wise, but I wanted to go for a chance at some of the give-aways. It's a shame they didn't follow through with all the hype tonight.

Posted by: BSG | September 25, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

fool me once, shame on me. fool me 81 times, well...

Posted by: Baba O'Reilley | September 25, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Hello!

Posted by: New Post | September 25, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

uh oh, ce. Whose turn is it to beat on the Mr. Met effigy?

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 25, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

"PF just compares the Nats performance at home vs. away. How the opposing team does in Nats Park isn't a factor."

Might wanna check your beloved BPro some more, SOCH.

Posted by: Chris | September 25, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I didn't make it to last night's game (we only make it to weekend games for the most part), but I've attended previous Fan Appreciation Days. As far as I recall, there was never a guarantee that everybody would receive a gift item - whether season ticket holder or lowly self-mini-plan-creator like me. I never won anything on such days, nor did I catch any of the items that the team threw out after the game. But that's not why I went - it was to say goodbye to my guys for the year. I'll miss them, and I'll be there for them at the same time next year.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 26, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

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