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Opening Day tickets

Almost forgot to mention this. The Nationals have announced a plan to make a "limited amount" of tickets for Opening Night available in the fashion outlined below. (Apparently, there had been an unlimited number of tickets to the March 30 game. (Kidding.))

Here's the official release. I'll let it stand.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS OFFER FANS OPPORTUNITY TO PURCHASE TICKETS TO THE INAUGURAL GAME AT NATIONALS PARK

The Team Will Conduct the Online Opportunity Beginning Monday, March 17

As part of their continuing effort to make tickets available to as many fans as possible for Opening Night, the Washington Nationals today announced they are able to make a limited amount of Opening Night tickets available to the general public. Fans may register for the opportunity to purchase two tickets online at nationals.com and winners will be selected through a random drawing. Registration will begin on Monday, March 17 at 9:00am and end on Friday, March 21 at 5:00pm. Selected winners will be notified via e-mail on Tuesday, March 25 and will have 24 hours to purchase their tickets. Tickets must be printed at home and will not be available for pick up at the Box Office Will Call.

The Nationals kick off their 2008 season at Nationals Park with their home opener on Sunday, March 30 at 8:05pm vs. the Atlanta Braves, broadcast nationally on ESPN. Season Ticket packages may be purchased by calling 202-675-NATS (6287) or going online at nationals.com. Individual game tickets may be purchased by calling 888-632-NATS (6287) or via nationals.com.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 14, 2008; 5:47 PM ET
 
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Comments

Well, I guess it's better than nothing.
I'll be curious, once we get closer, to find out how many tickets go to VIPs and such while several hundreds or thousands of real fans are left to pay a 500% increase on face value just to see the opening of a new park.

Posted by: AJ | March 14, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Any idea how many a "limited amount" is? Do these come from the group of seats the Nats are holding aside in the hopes of more season ticket buyers?

Posted by: AJ | March 14, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I really do trust Stan Kasten to work this one. I have no doubt that Opening Day will be sold out, one way or the other. They are jsut trying to coax whatever folks they can to be season ticket holders.

I would love to join that crowd, but my kids' activities stubbornly refuse to be relocated to Nationals Park. If our outfield can stay healthy, I want to see some WMP/Milledge/Dukes advertisements that can get the area excited.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | March 14, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Went to a retirement party at Ft. McNair today. On my way out I rolled past the new diggs. Looking good. If I were the Ownership I would sell every ticket I had for opening night instead of waiting for VIPSs and even more STH's. If the average schmo like me likes the experience on opening night, maybe they'll plunk down the dough for a 20 game plan or something like it. Here is another thing that I would do. DC has hundreds of groups that come to the city on tours. School trips, conventions, etc. The Nats need to jump in on those packages to make sure that those tours, especially the school trips, get a night at the stadium in addition to a tour of the Capitol.

Posted by: 6th and D | March 14, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

6th and D-

You are absolutely right about the packages. They have to horn in on that somehow. There are hordes of tourists, and often they probably root for other teams that might be in town.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | March 14, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

As a carryover:

I wouldnt presume Whitesell to have been part of the long term plan. And losing him isnt that big a deal. But he was still an asset. Otherwise, why have him on the 40 man and expose/lose other players to the rule 5 draft?

I wont disagree that having Maxwell and Detwiler in the majors had value. I just dont believe that value outweighed the roster spot(s).

The bigger issue, though, is that the Whitesell waiver claim is an example of poor roster management.

Simply, good organizations do not lose minor leaguers on the 40 man roster to waivers during spring training.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 14, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Los 12-8-

Is that always true? It seems to me that the Nats are more in a position to lose these minor leaguers because of where they are in their overall progress. There was no reason to lose them last year, because they had spots galore. They are not as advanced as a premier team, either, on which Whitesell would not have come close to sniffing a 40-man roster spot.

I think part of the dilemma is that the team has taken on other near-prospects who are also out of options, and need to make decisions about who they care about most. I am totally willing to be corrected on this, because this aspect of team building is what really interests me most. I really think the starters on the big club are essentially set, and the best stories left are the scrubs and prospects.

Posted by: Positively Half St. | March 14, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"Simply, good organizations do not lose minor leaguers on the 40 man roster to waivers during spring training."

Maybe. But improving organizations that are on their way to becoming good organizations might well do that. The key is whether the guy who replaces Whitesell on the 40-man ends up performing better than Whitesell does wherever he ends up. We'll have to wait and see how this one turns out.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | March 14, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

>"Any idea how many a "limited amount" is?"

5.

Posted by: The Nationals Enquirer | March 14, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree in part with what you are all saying.
- A team with a solid system wouldnt have put Whitesell on the 40 man in the first place most likely.
- The Nats waiving him is a reflection of an improved system.
- Whitesell, based on his age & minor league stats, will most likely never see more than a cup of coffee in the big leagues.
-This could very well be a product of the type of organization the Nats had to be, focusing on sleepers, injury risks and fallen prospects. Now the organization is filled with leftovers, just not as much as before and waiving Whitesell is part of a organizational enema.

I understand those points and do not disagree at all with the specifics regarding Whitesell.

Maybe he did something in camp and the team wanted him out. Maybe this is a secret part of the Willy Mo deal with AZ. Maybe the Nats are about to sign a guy and add him to the 40 man. Maybe there is some rule I dont know that forced the Nats hand, which very well could be. Maybe, unless he repeated AA ball, there was no where he could fit.

The issue is the timing. Why protect him at the rule 5 draft only to allow him to be a waiver claim 3 weeks into the spring training? Why not hold on to him until the 25 man roster has to be set? Why not put him on revocable waivers since he had options left then try and gain something via trade when he is claimed?

The Nats appear to have lost an asset without being forced to do so, and have gained nothing in the process other than opening a roster spot.


Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 14, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

"waiving Whitesell is part of a[n] organizational enema."

This is the most terrible/fantastic phrase associated with The Plan ever.

For it alone, I nominate Los Doce Ocho for post of the day.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 14, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

This is way too much discussion of Whitesell. I just don't see him as much of an "asset" in the long-term. We must have too much time on our hands with no regular season games to hash over.

Posted by: Brant Alyea | March 14, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

"The Nats appear to have lost an asset without being forced to do so, and have gained nothing in the process other than opening a roster spot."

Looks like Whitesell's spot on the 40-man will be filled by Odalis Perez, since he doesn't show up on the 39-man roster now being displayed on the Nationals' web site. So that was probably what forced their hand at this time. Perez can't be in the rotation if he's not on the 40-man roster. Room had to be made, and apparently they thought Whitesell hadn't shown enough in camp to justify being kept around. Welcome to the big leagues. Them's the breaks...

Posted by: Section 419+1 | March 14, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it, what's the big deal about Josh Whitesell. He looks like the sort of guy we would have jumped on last year, but this year he just looks pretty average.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | March 14, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

"waiving Whitesell is part of a[n] organizational enema."

This is the most terrible/fantastic phrase associated with The Plan ever.

For it alone, I nominate Los Doce Ocho for post of the day.

-------------------------------

Oh yea, post of the day no doubt. Who are you Los Doce Ocho? A mole perhaps? Something this posters been desperately longing for ever since I discovered nats journal? WMP trade? Arizona? He'll never see more then a cup of coffee in the big leagues? Could we just have caught a glimpse of Jim Bowdens successor?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 14, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

The roster spot can remain open until the 25 man roster has to be set (end of spring training - at which point Perez & King could be added, maybe others) or once the Nats sign/trade for another player that has to be on the 40 man roster.

So guys like King and Perez and BBoone and Orr (signed minor league deals) can play in spring training games and not be on the 40 man roster.

Its not about Whitesell. Its not about the marginal players that may provide your team with 1 extra win a year at most or may never reach the big leagues.

Its about how you maneuver/manipulate your roster to make it better.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 14, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I just realized
the haiku were all we had
to keep trolls away

Posted by: G Thompson | March 14, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I assume by "limited number" they mean each lottery whiner, excuse me, winner, will be limited in how many they can buy, to two each.
Doesn't everybody know at least one person with a positive genius for kissing arms and twisting butts? Honestly, sometimes I think Kasten never got out of gym class.
Just SELL the effing tickets already.

Posted by: You may already be a weiner! | March 14, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I second the POD nomination, for the phrase alone.

Not to gainsay my esteemed colleague 128, but it seems easy to believe they just plain changed their minds on the guy, to no great detriment really. Not the kind of thing you want to see happen all the time, but no big deal in and of itself.

Maybe time to bring out the semiannual Jacques Plante quote ...?

****************
The issue is the timing. Why protect him at the rule 5 draft only to allow him to be a waiver claim 3 weeks into the spring training? Why not hold on to him until the 25 man roster has to be set? Why not put him on revocable waivers since he had options left then try and gain something via trade when he is claimed?
The Nats appear to have lost an asset without being forced to do so, and have gained nothing in the process other than opening a roster spot.
Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 14, 2008 09:49 PM

Posted by: Mr In Betwn | March 14, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

But since it's a slow night, refresh my memory: who did the Nats *not* protect in the Rule 5 draft, and lose, whom they might possibly gain by keeping? I can't think of anyone. If so, no harm-no foul.
If they might have been able to get anyone more valuable in trade, there may be some exposure, but I think the odds on that are not good.
***********
The issue is the timing. Why protect him at the rule 5 draft only to allow him to be a waiver claim 3 weeks into the spring training? Why not hold on to him until the 25 man roster has to be set? Why not put him on revocable waivers since he had options left then try and gain something via trade when he is claimed?
The Nats appear to have lost an asset without being forced to do so, and have gained nothing in the process other than opening a roster spot.
Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 14, 2008 09:49 PM

Posted by: CE | March 15, 2008 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I dont think the Nats lost anyone in the MLB phase of the Rule 5 but lost 2-3 players in the minor league phase. I believe the minor league part would not have affected Whitesell.

Would they have lost Whitesell if he wasnt protected in the MLB Rule 5? Maybe, especially since he was claimed on waivers.

Losing Whitesell isnt a big deal at all. Its how/when they lost him, which still isnt that big a deal.

He has some value or he wouldnt have been protected by the Nats or claimed by AZ. Why lose him for nothing right now when you didnt have to, even if it was inevitable a couple weeks from now?

The Nats may announce a big trade or the signing of Barry Bonds tomorrow and then this move makes tons of sense (the waiver, not signing Bonds). But until that happens, this is only a small gripe with how the team manages their 40 man roster.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Whitesell wasn't even a rule 5 player

Posted by: Bob A. Head | March 15, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Nouveau Poteau

Posted by: OldGuy | March 15, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

It's highly unlikely that a 26-year old with good but not wonderful stats would eve become a useful major league player, plus it's not like he would play anyway unless Slick injures himself again. Ray King still needs to go on the roster, along with Perez. Plus they still might be able to audition Weaver for one night's concession take.

Posted by: 418/307 | March 15, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Whitesell is now gone
Plan is starting to show we
Are legitimate

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | March 15, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"Whitesell wasn't even a rule 5 player"

Whitesell was eligible to be drafted in the Rule 5 as he was a Expos draft pick in 2003. When the Nats purchased his contract and assigned him to the 40 man roster in late Oct/07 (right before the Rule 5 draft), he became protected and was no longer eligible for the Rule 5.

The Nats protected him, then months later waived him before they had to.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | March 15, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: fiwoldh nezdfvrx | April 25, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

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