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More On The Rainout

The Washington Nationals kept waiting for a window, a clear patch that would allow for baseball. The guesswork kept everybody dancing. Groundskeepers covered the infield with a tarp, then removed it, then again unfurled it. Washington team officials announced a 1:35 p.m. start time, then a 2 p.m. start time, then an undetermined start time.

The start time never came. After waiting for 1:54, today's game between the Nationals and Cardinals was rained out, with no immediate makeup date announced. For now, the Nationals will bump back every pitcher's next start; thus, John Lannan, who was supposed to pitch against the Cardinals today, will now start tomorrow's series-opener against Houston.

"Well, around 1:15 p.m. they told me that we were ready to go at 2," Lannan said. "So I rushed to get ready, and then I got ready and I was ready to go and they go, 'No, we're gonna wait another 40 minutes.' So then I was sitting around, and that was the tough part. But I was just preparing to start whenever."

In the coming days, a contingency plan that involves more than the pitching staff might be necessary. Rain is predicted to fall for much of the next two days. The Astros visit for a two-game series, their only visit to Washington this year. If tomorrow's game (scheduled for 7:05 p.m.) is rained out, the Nationals will likely be forced into a doubleheader on Tuesday. Which is fine, except the team plans to fly out that night to Los Angeles, because it starts a two-game series against the Dodgers on Wednesday.

Either way, the Nationals must find a way to make up the game with St. Louis -- another team not scheduled to reappear in Washington this year. The teams have several common off dates, but none appears ideal because of the respective travel.

For Nats fans who had tickets for today's game, here is the info, passed along from the team:

Season ticket holders and mini-plan holders for today's postponed contest should retain their ticket and parking passes until notified regarding the rescheduling of this game.

Those with individual game tickets (non-season tickets) may exchange their tickets for the same priced seat at any future 2009 Nationals home game, excluding the three-game series against the Boston Red Sox on June 23, 24 and 25. All rain check exchanges are subject to availability.

Individual-game ticket holders can exchange their tickets at any Nationals Park box office. Nationals Park box office hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tickets purchased as part of today's Youth Baseball Day parade and game may be exchanged for any other game this season with the exception of June 23, 24 and 25, based on availability. Those scheduled to participate in today's youth baseball parade may be specifically interested in exchanging their tickets for Youth Baseball Day on Sunday, June 7. Prior to that 1:35 p.m. contest vs. the New York Mets, those groups scheduled to participate in this afternoon's postponed parade will have access to a second youth baseball parade, based on availability.

By Chico Harlan  |  May 3, 2009; 4:20 PM ET
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Next: Chatter Up: Chico


"The key to your statement about Johnson is the big "If" factor regarding injury. I like Johnson as a player and a quiet leader. But, he has not shown he can stay healthy, even before his time with the Nationals organization.

It's not really "if" it's "when" does he get hurt."

Au contraire. He showed he could stay healthy for an entire season in 2006. Well almost, until Austin Kearns took him out with only two weeks left. So there's no reason to think he can't stay healthy for another entire season or more. Just keep Austin Kearns away from him.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 3, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately I'm fairly sure that every GM in baseball knows this too. So if we trade him we would get little more than a high risk prospect. But if we do that the fans will be furious. If we don't we will be criticized for not moving him.

personally I'm in the move him camp.

Posted by: soundbloke | May 3, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

HOU is a balanced lineup with Bourne, Erstadt & J.Smith pure LHH, and Berkman, Blum & Matsui as switch-hitters. For pitchers, it looks like the Nationals will face Moehler & possibly Oswalt.

Posted by: BinM | May 3, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

@nunof, soundb:

I'm in the "wait" category, as in "see what the market looks like after the draft" in regard to NJohnson. If he's still healthy & hitting, his market value is only going to go up; if he's hurt by then, there's nothing lost; they'd most likely eat the salary either way. The organization should also have a better handle on any 1B in the system who might serve as a 2009 (or beyond) replacement by then.

Posted by: BinM | May 3, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse


His value will keep going up until it goes all the way down.

Still, it's fun to watch him play until we wait.

Posted by: soundbloke | May 3, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 3, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

soundb: "His value will keep going up until it goes all the way down".

Exactly - So why not hold him until the "maximum value vs. break" point. He's playing very well right now for the Nationals - there is no reason to move him unless another team offers a fair or above-market value in return, based on their need.

The point is, no other team is in "panic" mode yet; The marketability of NJohnson (& Willingham, for that matter) can only rise as the season progresses.

Posted by: BinM | May 3, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Simply because the point where he becomes worthless will come wirthout warning.

You simply have more grapes than I do.

Posted by: soundbloke | May 3, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry. We are half - season ticket owners but looks like we have less oppotunities to chose replacement games than the single game ticket holder.

Posted by: navboss | May 3, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

to navboss: Season Ticket holders always have the opportunity to take advantage of the "Future Game Ticket Exchange" and the "Unused Game Ticket Exchange" Programs. See the Nats website for details.

So, in reality - more opportunities.

Posted by: comish4lif | May 3, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Not only that. I'm pretty sure that a season ticket holder can treat their ticket for today as a rain check, and exchange it for another game just as if it was a single game ticket. In fact, I did that very thing last year for the Cards game that was rained out and made up as the first half of a day-night doubleheader the next day. I couldn't go to a midweek day game, so I exchanged my ticket for another game and I don't recall any restrictions being placed on my choice, other than availability.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 3, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I did the same thing as nunof1 last year with my St. Louis rain out ticket (which was actually a trade-in from a different game that I couldn't use). Of course, I traded in that ticket for the last game of the year, another rain out. It's actually kind of a joke around our house that this ticket is a guarantee for a rain out. :) Point is, I just took it to guest service (where you go to do the "Future Game Exchange") and traded it in for the game desired.

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | May 3, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

So much rain, almost makes you want them to have some kind of trapped roof over top of the stadium for the past few weeks.

Posted by: alex35332 | May 4, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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