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Baseball Is Back At Nats Park

The home opener should be one of those pure moments on the American calendar, when everything is flush with optimism. Joe DiMaggio once described his affection for Opening Day by saying, "You think something wonderful is going to happen."

The Nats, during their first week of baseball, have already tried hard to remove this possibility. But at least for today, let's hone in on the poetry of the moment, to heck with the fact that Daniel Cabrera is pitching, to heck with the 0-6 record. First pitch is 3:05 p.m. Gates in center field open at 12:30 p.m. I've been told that the first cherry blossoms outside the park just bloomed last week.

One other note for fans: Today and today only, batting practice will be flip-flopped, meaning the Nationals hit after the visitors. That's good news if you want to see Adam Dunn, one of the most meticulous BPers I've ever witnessed. For anybody curious, Cabrera (0-for-16 lifetime, 16 strikeous) will not be taking BP.

I'll have more to post later from the ballpark.

In the meantime, your morning links to the gamer and notebook.

By Chico Harlan  |  April 13, 2009; 9:26 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Little Problems, A Big Ugly Record
Next: Opening Day Reading


0-6 on the road is not the way to start the season. Maybe some home cookin' is what these boys need to get their first "W" against the Phils. Can things get a lot worse?

Posted by: thisismydcsportsopinion | April 13, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone seen a schedule for what's going on today? Need to know what time we need to get there (and kick the Phillies fans out of our seats in 106) in order to see the Nats take BP.

Posted by: bryc3 | April 13, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Dissatisfied with the team's record? What to do when they're down 4-0 in the 2nd inning? Take you mind off the game. Go buy a stuffed Screech for your daughter. Go buy yourself a beer, wait 40 minutes for a hotdog.

If you're still down in the dumps by the 6th inning, just think to yourself, you're watching the 2008 World Series Champions. That sound "Phil-lies" ringing in your ear shouldn't bother you. Why not join in on the fun? And don't forget to pick up a Phils hat on your way out of the stadium. All proceeds from this and any other game this year will be applied to the 2015 Nats payroll. No need to spend now, right? There's no need to spend a dime on a free agent ptcher.

Posted by: dclifer | April 13, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm also hoping that some home cookin' will help.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 13, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

my season ticket buddies and i each have individual accounts so the computer put us sitting apart today.

I tried to call this morning to see if we could move and I was told there aren't even 2 seats left together in the ballpark, never mind 3. This is bad news for us but good news for the ballpark.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 13, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Even though the Nats are 0-6, I'm still excited as a kid on Christmas morning about going to the game today.

I mean, it's pretty easy really, hanging with my wife and kids, eating a Five Guys burger and having a couple of beers while watching baseball or going to work.

Let's get a win today Fella's! LET'S GO NATS!!!

Posted by: Section505203 | April 13, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Record doesn't matter! It's the home opener. It's vs. Philly. Get there! SHOW ME YOUR WAR FACE!!!

Posted by: trezmartin | April 13, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

The worm may be beginning to turn. Emilio Bonifacio's line from yesterday: 4 AB, 0 R, 0 H , 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K, one error in the field. Even Scott Olsen had a (slightly) better day.

Hope you enjoyed the honeymoon, Marlins.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 13, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Nunof1, let's lay off the schadenfreude on Bonifacio - he was such a breath of fresh air last summer after Lopez that I will be forever grateful and wish him well.

Posted by: Traveler8 | April 13, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

To me, they're all away games.

Still, it's a day game, which means Charlie and Dave will visit me in my cube this afternoon. If that's not worth looking forward to, I don't know what is.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 13, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Bonifacio's breath of fresh air with the Nats last summer lasted just about as long as his breath of fresh air will with the Marlins. He is what he is, and he ain't all that.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 13, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Wait there's baseball coming to Nationals Park? But I thought today was the home opener...

Posted by: capecodner424 | April 13, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I echo JiM's comments. Everybody in town - get out, enjoy the game and appreciate having the opportunity.

In my travels, perhaps the "best" fans that I have encountered are the Cubs fans. They love baseball and they love their Cubs - despite a long history of futility. (Remember, we have won the World Series more recently than they have).

Go out and make our 2009 Nats feel at home. Give them a fans base for whom they will be excited to play before. Everyone should remember how excited the players were to be in DC in 2005 - after those last years of playing before miniscule crowds in Montreal (sorry natscan) and having to play "home" games in San Juan.

Our guys have now been on the road since mid-February. I wish that I could be there with most of the rest of you to welcome them home today. Go Nats!

Posted by: lowcountry | April 13, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I am planning to get myself hoarse trying to drown out the Phillies fans. And I will always boo Chase Utley after his slide into Our Catcher Jesus Flores.

Posted by: Section109 | April 13, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse


No need to lean on the caps. I liked Frank Robinson but that team wasn't quite the cast of Major League. Vidro, Guillen, Hernandez, Loiza, Johnson, Majewski, Rauch, Cordero (both of them [and they were still decent at this point]). There was talent, and the fundamentals dissolved in the second half. Especially as the conditioning of some . All of them were seasoned and decent vets, rather than the lovealbe scamps of later years. And the motivation was not much better the next year. He did manage a good nap at one point though.

I was just pointing out that there were two sides to that season. And there was a much better pitching staff. I think Patterson even tossed a few games that year, although my boss might start to notice I'm not working if I invest the time to find out.

Also we were 77-85.

Posted by: soundbloke | April 13, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Jaybeeeeeeeee......You owe me a beer. so we need to meet up at the Red Loft so you can pay up. drop me an email. jmwhiteiv at gmail dot com

i'll probably be twittering from the game if possible.


Posted by: MrMadison | April 13, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

505203, i think you sit very near me!

Posted by: NatsNut | April 13, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

If I can add to your sentiment, lowcountry, buy a Dinger while you're there!

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 13, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

sorry you can't be here JiM. You're a great fan. They deserve to have you in the stands.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 13, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I've got about 25 fans coming in from Philly for the game today. Where would be the best place to hang our World Series banner? How about over the Nats dugout!

Posted by: JohnnyDB | April 13, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Per the Nats' website, the Nats are still suggesting the President may throw out the first pitch. Kasten is quoted as saying he's gotten contradictory info as to whether Obama will be there.

Posted by: Natsgal | April 13, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"I've got about 25 fans coming in from Philly for the game today. Where would be the best place to hang our World Series banner? How about over the Nats dugout!"

Be careful, b/c Stan might try to run it up the flag pole and count it as "ours"

Posted by: dclifer | April 13, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"I've got about 25 fans coming in from Philly for the game today. Where would be the best place to hang our World Series banner? How about over the Nats dugout!"

Give Stan enough money, he'll let you put it anywhere.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | April 13, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

ESPN reports that Rush Limbaugh will be throwing out the first pitch today.

Posted by: nova_g_man | April 13, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Enough of this. I'm out the door, on the Parkway and down to the park!!
Gotta get the stretching and wind sprints in, probably go back to the locker room for a couple of lattes (no bennies anymore), and little work in the cage and I'll be ready to take Milledge's place! I still got the range and arm. Still having trouble with the breaking stuff though..Go Nats

Posted by: Brue | April 13, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

That would make me hand in my tickets!

Posted by: soundbloke | April 13, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

BTW What is Collin Cowards on ESPN 980 malfunction? He was not refering to the Nationals as the Nationals but the "former Montreal"

Posted by: CBinDC | April 13, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

NOVA G MAN: You're kidding right i'm with soundbloke on this one please don't tell me that drug addicted gas bag is throwing out the first pitch. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 13, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

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