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History On Hold

The decision to cancel last night's game came at 10:47 p.m., after which Nats president Stan Kasten explained to the larger-than-usual media contingent that "We really tried [to get the game in]." Perhaps they tried to the point of folly.

Let's say that, at 10:46 p.m., the skies had magically turned clear, and some unseen force of nature found a way to de-Amazon the outfield grass. Let's say that, in one blink, the field was playable. You still needed 30 minutes -- at least -- to clear the tarp, get everything ready, and we've all seen enough rain delays to know that the whole start-up process usually takes more like 45 minutes.

So we're talking an 11:30 p.m. start time.

Conan territory.

The Nats routinely play 3-hour plus ballgames; they've probably played 10 nine-inning games that have taken more than 3:15. With a conservative estimate, the game would have ended at 2:30 a.m. Barring more rain.

Anyway, today everybody comes back to try it again -- with Mother Nature again in the opposite corner of the ring. Stay tuned to the NatCast for updates. From the ballpark, I'll be playing meteorologist as well. The initial forecast looks dismal, which is largely why the ballclubs were so desperate to start last night's game last night. Starting in the early afternoon today, the rain will be rolling in. And it doesn't show signs of rolling out.

Which means Randy Johnson might need to start breaking more televisions.

Not everybody was ornery about the four-hour waiting time last night. Steinberg, who offers some classic anecdotes from the washout, heard from one fan, Derrick Franke, that "This is why I like baseball. You come out to the park, you drink for three hours, we saw a guy run out to the tarp and get tackled by security. It's fun."

By Chico Harlan  |  June 4, 2009; 8:19 AM ET
 
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Next: Game 1 Lineups

Comments

Repost--

So is there any place to park when I get to Nats Park to exchange my soggy tickets at 10:00 when the box office opens?

Posted by: twinbrook | June 4, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Another anecdote, this in the "only in Washington" column:

One fan says to another, "What is going on, why don't they just call the game?"

The response: "It's like CNN on election night, they're waiting until the last possible moment."

Posted by: Section506 | June 4, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Park on the street right in front of the centerfield gate.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | June 4, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

So the reason they're not trying to get this game in at, say, noon is because of the weather?

Also, Randy Winn is funny.

Posted by: JohninMpls | June 4, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

in what will probably qualify as a course in revisionist history 101, channel 9 is running a two-part interview on its 11 p.m. news tonight and tomorrow with jimbow.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/sports/Former-Nats-GM-breaks-his-silence-on-WUSA9-46840287.html

Posted by: surly_w | June 4, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

oh, and one more thing about last night...
How come they couldn't leave the ticket windows open for a while after postponing the game to allow fans to make the exchange for today's games right away. I mean, we just spent five hours (we go there early) at the park because they waited and waited to call the game. The very least they could have done was to guarantee us that we would be able to have similarly good seats for today's games. Instead they pulled the shutters down and said "come back tomorrow".

Posted by: twinbrook | June 4, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

It would not have been that ridiculous to start the game very late as the West Coast TV audience would be able to see Johnson go after 300 in prime time.

Posted by: dfh21 | June 4, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Have they ever preemptively played a doubleheader? Just wondering if they could have squeezed in a DH on Tuesday in anticipation of the monsoon that was last night (and a likely rainy Thursday)...

Posted by: combedge | June 4, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

good point by dfh21. boost those tv ratings!

Posted by: longterm | June 4, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

BTW for those asking about in a previous post (sorry to shout, but emphasis and all) - METRO STAYS OPEN TILL THE END OF THE GAME. The notice on the scoreboard earlier was caused by some kind of snafu twixt one part of the DC government and another (and, in the end, Metro stayed open late even on that night). So there's that.

Posted by: OldDude | June 4, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Um... METRO stays open till one hour after the last out (if you want to get technical... :)

Posted by: OldDude | June 4, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

while I can appreciate the West Coast fans getting to see the game in prime time, they don't start their games 3 hours early because it is sunny so us East Coast folks can watch the game right after dinner.

I went to the park last night. To see a ballgame, certainly; to see history, maybe (approximately the same attitude I take every time I go to a ballgame). Making the decision at 10:46 was *very* frustrating. The weather was obviously not going to cooperate, the field was obviously unplayable, there was no communication with the fans about the situation. Would Metro run late for us? Was Johnson still going to be the starter for the Giants? How about a little Weather Channel up on the big screen during the commercial break of the Cubs-Braves game (which was cool).

This is above and beyond the usual complaints about the service at the stadium (the vendor who mis-rung my order and took five minutes to get a supervisor to open the drawer; the vendor who had to count out their cash while I waited to pay for beer; etc.)

When shorty and I left at 10, I had no way of knowing if my ticket would be useful later or a stupid waste of its face value.

Ok, ok. I'm ranting. Summary: More info and calling the game earlier would have been nice.

p.s. What happend to the NJ post that went up about 10 but was disappeared this AM?

Posted by: ihatewalks | June 4, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I just got back from the box office to exchange my tickets. I heard someone say that the "make-up" game is technically the second game. I guess that means that if you've traded in your tickets from last night for today's game, then if they only get one game in you don't get a rain check for the second game. I suppose that makes sense. The tickets they gave me had a 4:35 start time on them. That must be to distinguish my tickets from tickets someone had purchased for the game. They also had $0 listed as the price of the ticket.

There was a woman waiting in line who had flown in from Chicago to see RJ 300 last night. She had Diamond Club seats and talked to Stan last night. He gave her his card and told her to call him if she had any problems getting the same seat for todays game (she showed us his card, but I couldn't read the phone number).

Posted by: twinbrook | June 4, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm in SC and I'm going to feel really cheated if it turns out that the folks in San Francisco get MASN. What was it part of the stimulus package or something?
_____________________________________
It would not have been that ridiculous to start the game very late as the West Coast TV audience would be able to see Johnson go after 300 in prime time.

Posted by: dfh21 | June 4, 2009 8:59 AM

Posted by: lowcountry | June 4, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

The rest of the story: I was telling my daughter about the rain out and she passed along this, which bears on why can't they treat us like the Pirates treat their fans and call the game right at start time:

They called a rainout wherever the Mets were yesterday...and it didn't rain.

Posted by: markfromark | June 4, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

lc: the Giants probably have their own television coverage, but I know what you mean -- without Rob/Bob/Debbie and the magic of MASN production, it just wouldn't seem like baseball.

Posted by: joebleux | June 4, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey Folks ... Dan from Capital Weather Gang here. Just wanted to let you know that NatCast -- http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/natcast has been updated to account for today's doubleheader schedule.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | June 4, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"I'm in SC and I'm going to feel really cheated if it turns out that the folks in San Francisco get MASN. What was it part of the stimulus package or something?"

Hopefully you're being snarky with this comment. Of course the folks in SF don't get MASN. They get the Giants' local TV broadcasters, whoever they are - just like when the Nats play in SF, we get MASN because they cover the road games as well as the home games.

And if you don't believe me when I tell you that the people in SF don't get MASN, just find a Giants blog somewhere and look for complaints about Bob Carpenter. If SF does get MASN, they'll be there.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 4, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

it's nice enough now, too bad they didn't do a day/night doubleheader. although i'm guessing that most of last night's ticket holders probably wouldn't have appreciated that.

Posted by: DCPowerGator | June 4, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

San Fran has there own TV team, Mike Krukow is one of the TV broadcasters. They are very fun to watch when you catch them on mlb extra innings package. Very knowledgable and quite humorous with there often getting camera shots of fans in funny circumstances. I'm not sure the package is carrying the early game, which will be a travesty if so.

Posted by: cokedispatch | June 4, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Snark? On NJ? It is outlandish even to suggest it.

Posted by: lowcountry | June 4, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Would that qualify as meta-snark?

Posted by: JohninMpls | June 4, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps in days of yore.
______________
Would that qualify as meta-snark?

Posted by: lowcountry | June 4, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

ugh, there is a huge batch of blue and green (rain) on WeatherBug that has gathered and runs from about I81 through KY and almost to IN. I think we're in for a very soggy day. I hope the Nats handle this well, as far as informing the fans of start times. It doesn't look like there are any dry breaks in the system, however a lot of it is only green, and they do play in light rain. It is possible that one of the two games might still get in. I would bet money against them both being played, however.

Posted by: twinbrook | June 4, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

snarkity, snark snark
snarkity, snarkity, snark
snark, snarkity, snark

rain out! blame manny! fire kasten!

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | June 4, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Chico, can you confirm that ticket holders for tonight's game will be able to use those tickets for the 4:30 game as well? The Nats' website gives no information as to that.

Posted by: Natsgal | June 4, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

excerpt from Boz' weekly chat today....I'm all for it!

Deviltown, Va.: "Aside from Dunn, is the live organist at Nationals Ballpark the best off season acquistion the Nats made?"

No, the banishment of Sweet Caroline from Nationals Park is better. Addition by subtraction.

Tom Boswell: I hear there's a Kidnap Clint movement over at National's Journal. Man, there are some angry folks over there. Maybe strap Ted, Mark, Stan and a few others in chairs and read 'em the posts for 24 hours straight. I think Mao called it "Reeducation."

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 4, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Natsgal,

Yes you can.

Posted by: twinbrook | June 4, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"Chico, can you confirm that ticket holders for tonight's game will be able to use those tickets for the 4:30 game as well? The Nats' website gives no information as to that."

The answer is yes. I was on the phone this AM with my ticket rep regarding a no-cost upgrade to my seats that they offered me out of the blue (take that, customer service complainers) and she confirmed it.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 4, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe strap Ted, Mark, Stan and a few others in chairs and read 'em the posts for 24 hours straight. I think Mao called it "Reeducation." "

Presuming that most if not all of the posters here are already reading NJ 24/7, re-education is not the effect I'm seeing out of doing that. More like dumbing down.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 4, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Alright someone tell me if I should go. Went last night and waited the entire time. Will they play in light rain? Is it worth the hour+ trip from Loudoun? I just don't know...

Posted by: amorris525 | June 4, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Boswell in his chat today: "The market for Kearns and Milledge is infinitessimal. After Milledge showed up late for his own broken-finger surgery, the Nats tried to encourage Lastings to internalize this truth about his current stature in the game."

Is this

(a) Boz snark
(b) Boz cluelessness or
(c) a true journalistic scoop that Boswell both forgot to report himself and forgot to share with any of his journalistic colleagues?

Your guess is as good as mine. All I can say with certainty is that Boz is no Bob Woodward or Gene Weingarten. But we already knew that.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 4, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

rainchecks are good for any same-or-cheaper seat at any regular season game, except the Red Sox series. So yes, that would include today's games, even tho it's scheduled as a traditional doubleheader.

and you can't trade draft picks.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 4, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I can has newpost!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 4, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"Will they play in light rain? "

Probably, presuming the field's not in too bad a shape after last night's rain. But it might depend on whether or not the rain starts before game time. If it hasn't started raining by 4:30, they'll take the tarp off, start the game and probably continue if only a light rain starts up. But if it's raining at all at 4:30, they might not take the tarp off at all unless/until it lets up a good bit.

You realize of course that your question is equivalent to asking if there will be school tomorrow when they're calling for snow but it hasn't started yet. You won't know until it happens. The only difference is that if you get up and go to school anyway and they ultimately end up canceling, they won't sell you overpriced beer while you wait to find out.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 4, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

LDO, good to see you!

Posted by: Section506 | June 4, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, nunof--the beer at my school was always overpriced.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 4, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"I dunno, nunof--the beer at my school was always overpriced."

That's because you had to buy it from the 19 year old juvenile delinquent 8th graders who were smuggling it in. Black market is always overpriced by definition.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 4, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Well if it's overpriced by definition, it's the market price, for contraband goods.

And I was not a 19 year old jd, that's a vicious canard dissemminated by my enemies. I was only 17.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 4, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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