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Running NatsFest Thread

No doubt a lot of you will be out at Nationals Park this afternoon for the inaugural NatsFest -- 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (You can get the full information on events and participating players here.) I'll post a recap later in the day, but in the meantime, everybody else is invited to share his/her thoughts and experiences. Have at it. Heck, don't even wait 'til you get home. Pull out your BlackBerrys and iPhones and post in real time.

By Chico Harlan  |  January 25, 2009; 11:48 AM ET
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Next: NatsFest, Over And Out


I'll be there. Sorry to see the new coaching staff won't, but where there's a Will ...

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 25, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Carrying over from the previous thread there are in fact statistics backing up protection in the lineup. Jeff Kent doesn't believe in protection, but twice in his career he has benefited greatly from it - batting in front of Bonds and Manny. Manny himself benefited from David Ortiz. Ask Cal Ripken how he benefited from Eddie Murray batting behind him and he will tell you his pitch selection was better with Eddie behind him. My ONLY point here is that impact of protection is not proven one way or the other. The 'proof' of the non-existance of protection is always provided over an extended period of time which by definition will normalize the results toward career norms. The argument for protection shows shorter bursts of production which by definition is argued to be invalid because it does not last.

Bill James wrote a fairly well known essay on the subject of batting myths in which he states "...One hitter does not "protect" another hitter in the lineup..." but then goes on to say that the methodology used to prove and disprove this point is likely invalid. His essay is more about the falibility of the methods used to analyze than it is about the issue of protection itself.

Nobody argues against the value of adding productive hitters to the lineup. Whether the hitter directly in front of you benefits long term is not the question, the question should be will the lineup be better when you add a specific hitter.

I believe the Nats lineup would in fact be better if they had a) a leadoff hitter (e.g. Hudson); b) a cleanup hitter (e.g. Dunn); and c) more patient hitters up and down the lineup that force opposing pitchers to throw more pitches (e.g. Hudson, Dunn, Wilingham).

BTW, not able to get to the NatFest. Wish I could, but too many other Sunday afternoon commitments....

Posted by: natbisquit | January 25, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

My family and I just got back. It was much more crowded than we anticipated, which was encouraging. Of course, it also meant that the lines for autographs were a mile long. We were glad to get a picture or two with Terrell Young (strong looking kid) and Garrett Mock. We also saw the clubhouse and the Presidents Club.

I heard part of George Will's talk (always interesting) but couldn't hear any of Jim Bowden's talk with Charlie Slowes. On the monitors it was clear at one point that someone said something that made Bowden outright angry. I hope someone can fill me in on that. I caught a snippet later during which (of course) he was declaring that writers were being unfair.

We considered standing in line for A Olsen and Willingham picture, since the Zimmerman line would clearly have cost the four of us more than an hour of our lives. My 12-year-old daughter was satisfied though when he walked Zimmerman walked right past us on his way to his photo session. Considering we had to go pick up the 5th member of the family from a birthday party, we declared victory and retreated.

By this time last year I was counting down the days in my user ID, and today does get me excited again. However, there is too much tension for me in waiting for them to do something, anything to improve the team further. I am holding out for Dunn and Hudson, but will settle for just Dunn. I am looking to be disappointed.

+1/2 St.

Posted by: kevincostello | January 25, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Met the Nats caravan yesterday in Charlottesville. Got lots of autographs and pictures with a short line. Ryan Zimmerman was great to talk with, but was not signing. All in all it was great to have a stop in C'ville and hope they will come back next year. And please get us full time stations (radio and TV) that carry all the games!

C'ville Nats Fans.

Posted by: realmccoy1 | January 25, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

It took me 45 minutest to get into the park because the Nats weren't smart enough to open up multiple gates, or stop the Metro crowd from cutting into the line.

Posted by: Wooden_U_Lykteneau | January 25, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't make the 10 hr drive, but will make the 5 hr drive to Viera in March. So, fill me in on the fest. Hopefully will load up with some interviews on their media page. SCNF.

Posted by: cokedispatch | January 25, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I thought this was well done. Staff were more courteous and helpful than ever before. My kids and I loved the hot chocolate on the club level. We toured the clubhouse and President's Club. One of my sons didn't want to leave the Prez Club seats behind home plate. "I can fall asleep in these, Dad.". And we checked out our new seats in Section 317. Didn't listen too much to the speaking sessions or stand in lines for photos. But we had a great time. Hope they do it again next year.

Posted by: AshburnVA | January 25, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse


From your 'non-de-plume' & travel time, I'd assume you're GA based?

Posted by: BinM | January 25, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

To BinM...close, coastal SC, 45 min north of Savannah.

Posted by: cokedispatch | January 25, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Go nupostal ...

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 25, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

@Ashburn: How did you get up there? We wanted to see our new seats in 305 but were told nobody was allowed up to that level. Twice!

Posted by: rallycap | January 25, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

@Rallycap re: checking out new seats

We simply walked up the ramp to the Infield Gallery level. Ran into one staffer who, like you mentioned, said people were not supposed to be on that level. But he said, "I'll hang out here a bit longer so you can see your seats." Nice guy. Another couple were doing the same thing, with a Nats escort. Again, the staff was the most helpful I had ever seen.

Posted by: AshburnVA | January 25, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I already commented on a later post. Sorry Chico, no Crackberry (blackberry) or IPhone for me. At least not yet.

I tried to Network a little to find a job. I'll have to see how it goes!

Posted by: CALSGR8 | January 26, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

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