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What Does The Winless Start Mean?

Post writers Dana Hedgpeth and David Nakamura put together an in-depth piece looking at the stalled economic development around Nationals Park. Check it out here. The game story from last night's defeat is here.

If you'll allow for a morning poll, I wanted to take the temperature on the must-win/no-such-thing debate. From a players' vantage point, today's game probably means less than it does from an organizational/marketing standpoint. Having an 0-6 team come to Nats Park for the home opener would register as a categorical worst case scenario. Quite literally.

So the question is:

  • Absolutely not.
  • Too early to tell; the season is only a week old, and things could get better.
  • Yes; I can't take another year of bad baseball.
  • Ws and Ls don't matter; factors other than performance dictate my attendance.

By Chico Harlan  |  April 12, 2009; 10:19 AM ET
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Next: This Afternoon's Lineup


I have season tickets so I'll probably go regardless.

But yea. I'm approaching frustrated.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 12, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

The standings in the NY Times sports section today (in print, haven't checked online) list the Nats as 0-6 already. Salt in the wound.

Posted by: nats24 | April 12, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"Having an 0-6 team come to Nats Park for the home opener would register as a categorical worst case scenario. Quite literally."

Well, sure. But it's not like they were expecting many walkup sales anyway. The tickets have already been sold for tomorrow. Similarly, a 6-0 start would not have pulled in many more fans either.

In 2007, with all the pundits predicting a historically bad team, the Nats opened the season in RFK with a crowd of over 40,000. The rest of the week, the crowds were in the 17,000-21,000 range. Did people quit coming because they lost the opener, or because the Opening Day beautiful warm sunny weather turned into 40 degree weather by the weekend?

Really, this early in the season I think the big factor in determining attendance is the weather, not the team's record. Crowds will be good for the Phillies games (they always are), they will suck for the Marlins games (they always do) and for the Braves games they will be middling (they always are). The weather will push things up or down on the scale accordingly. The Nationals' record on any given day will make little difference. Later in the season, if things continue to go badly, it might.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 12, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I picked #2. nunof makes good points re. attendance.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 12, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

What's going to put my fanny in the seat? Give me some exciting baseball, which I haven't seen over the past few years. I can live with the lousy record if I can see something that gets me interested: aggressive baserunning, excellent defense (e.g., nailing opposing runners from the OF, caught stealing, etc.), and clutch hitting. Throw in there some safety squeezes and double steals, and I'm there. Atop that, give me two players who will step up and provide excitement. Soriano was exciting, Chief was exciting. Who's going to play those roles this year (I didn't see anyone last year). Dukes? Dunn? Someone...please.

Just don't lose in a lethargic fashion.

Posted by: joemktg2 | April 12, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I have season tickets and will still go to a lot of games, but I suspect it will be harder at times to find friends to join me.

Posted by: dcbatgirl | April 12, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Acta=lose in a lethargic fashion

Posted by: JayBeee | April 12, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

What time is first pitch today?

Posted by: jstack34 | April 12, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Last game of the road-trip; maybe it's time for Manny to toss the scripted lineup card...

Harris -2B
Guzman -SS
RZimm -3B
Dunn - 1B
Willingham -LF
Kearns -RF
Milledge -CF
Flores -C
Olsen -P

I'd start Dukes in CF, but for the groin tweak - Maybe even flip Willingham & RZimm; NJohnson available for late-inning defense.

Posted by: BinM | April 12, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I voted absolutely not, but only because I live far away from DC. There is, and was, a slim chance that I would attend one series sometime during the summer, and how bad the team is would not affect that. I wish the team would perform better, but that does not deter from still rooting them on. I have suffered through this since I was 4 (coincidentally, that would be 1994) when the Expos played in Montreal. At least there is a nice stadium to sit in now.

Posted by: Vladman1327 | April 12, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

This absolutely is a must win. The stadium will not be sold out tomorrow for opening day! What a joke! With an inferior product - what do you expect. I voted absolutely not, because I never intended to attend a game at the park. I'll watch on TV and as usual will turn to "Destroyed in Seconds" on Discovery after the third inning.

Posted by: johnbear1 | April 12, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

And ........... half of the seats will be philled by Philthy fans

Posted by: johnbear1 | April 12, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

1:35, jstack.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 12, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"Destroyed in Seconds: The 2009 Washington Nationals"

That has a ring to it. I agree about exciting baseball being a draw even if in a losing cause. I turned on the game the other day only to see the 3rd baseman, shortstop, and left fielder watch the ball drop perfectly between all of them. Then, I turned off the game. I simply can not watch crappy play like that, even on television.

I surely would not pay to see it in person.

Posted by: BoteMan | April 12, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I voted "Absolutely Not". I've got the tickets in hand, and I'll be there regardless as always. I sat through three years of crappy baseball in RFK; I think I can handle it in the new park too. Of course it gets frustrating, but I go because I love it anyway.

Posted by: AlexL925 | April 12, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

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