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Kasten on crowd

Nationals president Stan Kasten just dropped by the press box, as he is wont to do.

I said, "Seems like a small crowd." He said: "I don't have a count, but I'm very happy with tonight's crowd, with the weather what it is, on a Monday night for Florida, second game of the year, cold weather against an NCAA championship game, I'm very pleased with the crowd."

I asked what sales were like for the rest of the week. "I think we're going to have mid-20s, or 20s," Kasten said. "I just don't know yet. That's OK. It's also good for us. It's the right size crowd for us to keep learning things."

So there's that. The glitches on the scoreboard, etc., seem to have been worked out.

Tim Redding: Victim of shoddy defense. The Nationals had committed just one error this season before tonight. Not only did Milledge drop a fly ball, but Cristian Guzman also booted a ball -- bad throw that Johnson couldn't scoop. Marlins lead 7-3, but only one of the runs is earned.

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 7, 2008; 8:25 PM ET
 
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Next: Half-full? Half-empty? What do you see?

Comments

Errors have doubled over the season since tonight now. And for feeding the troll...it's banter and since it appears he is not leaving...why not play along and enjoy the games. Go Nats!

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Tim Redding, victim of a cruddy offense. Second inning, with one run in, Milledge on second, no outs and Zimm, Johnson, and Kearns came up with zilch at the plate. Not so much as a sacrifice to get Milledge to third.


Posted by: jaho | April 7, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Barry did you ask him how he likes 6 Unearned runs! Stan needs to understand the product is poor and spending some money would have improved it!

Posted by: JayB | April 7, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Tell Stan to have Boz write him another article selling the virtues of the wonderful parking garages..er stadium in beatiful downtown Anacostia

Posted by: Brooksy | April 7, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

From the previous post, I love that Manny is a Caps fan and has met Coach BB but if his Nats keep playing like this they're going to dig a Caps-like early-season hole from which to climb. Maybe Manny should rub Coach BB's head for good luck, or something.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 7, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

is a crowd of, maybe, 20K+ for the stadium's second game part of The Plan?

Posted by: natsscribe | April 7, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

By the way... How does the HD look??

Posted by: Wigi | April 7, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

@Wigi,

so far it looks like a lot of empty seats.

Posted by: natsscribe | April 7, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Lopez is making me think more and more that he is our 25th man and Willie Harris is going packing when WMP is back.

BTW anyone want to explain to me why Harris got the PH call instead of Boone? I think Redding has better career numbers vs lefties than Harris. And thanks for plunking Harris to cover that move.

Posted by: estuartj | April 7, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Where I live in Silver Spring, the game is on MY 20. sted of MASN. I don't think MY 20 os carrying the game in hi-def.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 7, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I think 20K+ is fine for tonight...cold and dreary and not to mention NCAA Champs in 20 min. Oh and it's a workday. C'mon..20K+ ain't bad at all

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of WMP, did anyone see Ladsen's article that WMP is playing extended spring training game tomorrow and will start his rehab assignment (guess, potomac?) On the 14th. Good news I guess but I was hoping to get him back sooner. Can't rush a power hitter with that kind of injury though.

Posted by: estuartj | April 7, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes, this game makes you stand in awe. Willie Harris-what a warrior! That sound that Bob and Don thought was the bat was Willie's back - probably a rib - probably breaking. He collapses, claps his hands, gets up, and makes them pay, crossing the plate under pressure. What a man!

Posted by: flynnie | April 7, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

@svx

You forgot to add that the Marlins aren't even household names in their own homes.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 7, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

"We get the attendance we deserve."
Stan Kasten, 2007


Posted by: Ashburn | April 7, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

can someone explain why willie harris, a lefthanded hitter, wears a double-flap helment? he looks like willie mays hayes.

Posted by: natsscribe | April 7, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for adding...I was looking for someone else saying something positive...and yes, the Marlins don't get this kind of attendance during a playoff game. I would love to be at the game (not really in the community for it) but not tonight...I'm watching the game online at 9:20 because it's NCAA and I'm watching my bracket.

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

well that was a wasted opportunity.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | April 7, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

"Where I live in Silver Spring, the game is on MY 20. sted of MASN. I don't think MY 20 os carrying the game in hi-def."

Yes they are. It looks good.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 7, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

For a team like the Fish, a series attendance of 60K doesn't bother me. Now, if we have those kinds of crowds when the rest of the division visits, then Stan The Plan Man will have severe indigestion.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 7, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Got a text from a friend that Ross D said on the TV Broadcast that Chad will be pitching in Potomac....Barry does that mean he has to go on the DL first?

Posted by: JayB | April 7, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

JayB, Cordero already went on the DL to make room for Lannan.

Posted by: estuartj | April 7, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The Chief is on the DL. Went on last week.

Posted by: already there | April 7, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

They put Cordero on the DL this weekend so they could call up Lannan for the Sunday start.

Posted by: LANats | April 7, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Great play by Rivera...now just stop all the runs.

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

And Carpenter just said "a good defensive inning for the innings."

"One small step for ... man"

Zim's up. Let's go.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 7, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Thought that last one was a little low but he shoulda swung.

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Nice hit Nick, bring him home AK!

Posted by: estuartj | April 7, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Nick the stick. AK, this is your time.

Posted by: Bob L Head | April 7, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Went to tonight's game, but left after the 4th to get back and watch the basketball game...also the fiancee was freezing! Definitely pretty chilly in Section 230, especially when the wind kicked up.

There were still a handful of people coming in when we left, so it will be interesting to see what the final attendance tally is.

Posted by: Jamos | April 7, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

They should put a chat on here for game time...come on laduca

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Time for something other than a piss poor AB, eh? But I'm rooting for ya PLD.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 7, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

BASES LOADED!! No more LOB please Belliard.

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

This is your job Boone. Let's go, at least a single.

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Win this in a comeback and the last four don't matter. C'mon AB.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 7, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Grrrrrrrrr, we can't keep leaving all these guys on base, it's killing me!

We also need DY back or someone else who can hit to take his slot. Not getting much help from the bench besides Harris taking one in the back.

Posted by: estuartj | April 7, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

One glitch Barry forgot to mention. The Clean Air Act-exempt dinosaur coal-fired power plant between the stadium and the Capitol completely obscures every shot of the Capitol with smoke.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 7, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Hot dang. Breaks not going our way of late. And the park is vacant. Nice scoop by Guz though.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 7, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I feel you estuartj. Some guys get hits when you need them (DY) and some guys just hit for average.

We need a couple more guys that get hits when you need them.

Posted by: Ed | April 7, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Sloppy play tonight, 2 big errors, the bad pitch to give up the double-single combo to the 8-9 hitters and then some sloppy, sloppy at-bats like Belliard popping up for the 2nd out with the bases juiced.

Not good.

Posted by: estuartj | April 7, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

If we're going to come back...these are the next batters we want...back to the top of the order.

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Hometown call there but I'll take it. How 'bout another walkoff? Let's teach local fans to stay for the end of games that are not over until ...

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 7, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

[channelling spirits whose monikers shall not be mentioned]: dat bum zimmerman. 0 fer four. but whaddya expect outta some 24 year old kid no other organization wanted to pay for last time he was avaialble. cheap #$%^&* ownership, kept this amateur playing when they couldda got a pro. etc. etc.

Posted by: natty bumppo | April 7, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Guz!!! Triple again! I'll take it.

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Yay

Posted by: blh | April 7, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

How about Guz with the double triples!
His obp still sucks, but his slugging percentage is great, if he'd just take a few walks....

Posted by: estuartj | April 7, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Now is the time

Posted by: blh | April 7, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

this team really does like the dramatic...

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

And the real game begins

Posted by: blh | April 7, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

All right now let's go Nick, hit us a dinger and send the faithful home happy!

Gonna have to do it lefty to lefty vs Tankersly though.

Posted by: estuartj | April 7, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

2 on base...c'mon AK

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Now that o's exec is gone I thought i would mention that I believe he is also know as pod speak over in the redskins insider blog. He likes the "blindly" take the side of lil danny and friends to insight rioting amongst all the regulars. nice ab from nick

Posted by: adam | April 7, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

That 1 bad pitch by schroder and not getting at least Nick home in the 7th are looming large.

Good Eye Nick, now get 'um home Kearnsey!

Posted by: estuartj | April 7, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

swing at the first pitch and pop up.

Posted by: ok look for Kearns to | April 7, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

argh... my wife took the laptop w/ the slingbox software to school so I'm hitting F5 like a madman... I know, "1st world problems..."

Posted by: mrm0to | April 7, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Deja vu, the feeling that you ... Deja vu, the feeling that you ..

AK, your time ...

Posted by: blh | April 7, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Not enough swinging at down the middle strikes by all these batters.

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

fate to loduca again.

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm calling a GS here. Or at least 2 RBIs.

Posted by: blh | April 7, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

NO!!! Not again...another bunch LOB

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

once again the pitcher can't find the strike zone and we bail him out.

Posted by: TAKE A PITCH | April 7, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

11 stranded tonight and the bottom of the order up in the 9th. Did I jinx us talking about Schroder and the missed opportunity in the 7th?

Sorry guys, my bad - I know better than that.

Posted by: estuartj | April 7, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Another bad thing is we are not in good shape for batting in the 9th.

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

For the record I was also calling for me to win the lottery today. Didn't happen either (but at least in that case it was due in part to my failure to play).

Posted by: blh | April 7, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

This is just another instance of a need for another big bat coming off the bench...Dukes, WMP, and DY...come back.

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Up to bat in the bottom of the 9th;
Belliard
Flores
Mackowiak

Jesus Saves!

Posted by: estuartj | April 7, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Alright I'll join the prediction game..

Belliard hits a double, Flores bats him over, and then steals home.

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

If Jesus Colome could pitch to Paul Loduca and no one else, he would be Cy Young. He never throws strikes, and Loduca refuses to take a walk.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 7, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

I predict we pop up, ground out, pop up on 3 consecutive pitches, all out of the zone.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | April 7, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Okay...well I guess we need a little more now.

Posted by: svxcountry | April 7, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

andino HR

say goodnight, gracie.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 7, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

at least we have a day off tomorrow to regroup.

Posted by: natsscribe | April 7, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Good teams do not lose 5 straight. This is not a good team.

Posted by: bleck | April 7, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

think i saw this movie before - oh yeah, last april.

Posted by: natsscribe | April 7, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Horrible loss.

Posted by: Ed | April 7, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Got home just in time to see the last two innings of nonsense.

I don't know what's happening. I was so forgiving and patient last year. Now I'm just seeing red. And not in the good way.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 7, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

@NatsNut

If you're seeing red, Ted Leonsis is looking for you.

Posted by: natsscribe | April 7, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Parking Advisory to All:

I just got back from the game (cut out early to avoid frostbite) and I want to share something very important with everyone.

Please be very, very cautious about using Parking Lot W (700 M St.) if you park near the stadium. It's one of the new lots that just opened up for single game parking -- and it's a violence crime just waiting to happen.

I parked there tonight and it was smooth sailing going in during the daylight hours. But as I walked back to my car at around 9:45 p.m., I was scared for my life. There are no cops around from 400 M to 700 M, the last three blocks of the walk back to the lot.

None, folks. Absolutely none.

The lighting is also dim for the last three blocks -- and because the lot is new -- there was no one around going back to the lot with me. I was on my own.

To make matters worse, when you get to the lot, there is just one attendant way over in the corner. And the lighting on the lot is very, very dim.

I don't scare easily but I was scared tonight. If the Nats don't rectify this situation -- and soon -- I fear we will be reading about this problem in the Metro section before long.

I love the fact that the Nats have opened up some single game parking. But you can't lead people into what could easily become a mugging zone.

I plan to bring this to the Nats attention in the AM -- but if any team execs read this, feel free to reach me at swanni@tvpredictions.com. I would be happy to share my experience to help solve the situation.

Swanni


Posted by: swanni | April 7, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

the nats lost to the FIRST-PLACE florida marlins tonight. what a disaster.

Posted by: natsscribe | April 7, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Manny needs to address the sloppy play issues and do it now. Also, very questionable decisions in that 5 run inning on pitch selection with two outs and the pitcher due up next. That pitch was just to fat. Mistakes...just to many of them.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | April 7, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I watched this live, gang, to the last out. Calm the [RF] down. Remember what Manny says: patience and positive attitude. Someone run the split on batting averages v. averages with bases loaded. When they're as disproportionate as I'm sure they are it is mental.

Know what doesn't help mental blocks? Being all nutz about it.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 8, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Game was freeeeeeeeeezzzing.

I sat in Section 416, three rows down from the top, right next to Barry's work area. Nice view of the Capitol.

Overall Ballpark impressions:

Negative:

The ticket guy's scanner at the gate had a hard time reading the printout of my ticket, so he had to enter it manually into his PalmPilot thingie for it to work.

Scoreboard/reverberating sound: already covered.

Men's toilet stalls in the 416 upper deck infield area: none had coat hooks on the doors (although other toilet stalls near the upper deck outfield Section 405 did).

The usher below my section didn't know which side (415-416 or 416-417) was the closest to my seat (29, an aisle seat).

Positive: No problems getting to/leaving on Metro.

The walk from Navy Yard to the ballpark was short and sweet, with the whole thing lit up in front of you.

Only a 10-minute line to get my Hard Times Cafe Chili Mac (gonna have to hit the gym every day this summer...).

Most of the non-moveable concessions took credit cards (!!!).

The cup holders (even in the cheap seats) are great.

ALL the concessionaires I dealt with were nice and polite.

You really can actually stand around and watch the game from the concourse.

Overall impresssion:

I plan on happily spending a WHOLE LOTTA MONEY at that gorgeous ballpark for the rest of my natural life. :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | April 8, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

As for the game itself: Two craptastic starting pitchers, with one throwing only slightly less craptastically than the other.

Posted by: Juan-John | April 8, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Now that o's exec is gone I thought i would mention that I believe he is also know as pod speak over in the redskins insider blog. He likes the "blindly" take the side of lil danny and friends to insight rioting amongst all the regulars. nice ab from nick

Posted by: adam | April 7, 2008 10:14 PM
__________________________________________

Sorry pal but you're way off. If you look at the clues you should be able to figure out who I am when/if I post on Redskins Insider.

Posted by: O's Exec | April 8, 2008 3:16 AM | Report abuse

Now, about the Nat's, the Nat's attendance tonight, the O's record, I don't wanna brag but.....

Posted by: O's Exec | April 8, 2008 3:18 AM | Report abuse

The game was blacked out in Falls Church (Fairfax County) on Cox Cable. Sounds like others were able to watch it. Why would it be blacked out in Fairfax??

Posted by: Jon G | April 8, 2008 7:09 AM | Report abuse

@Jon G

It was on My20 (http://www.upn20wdca.com/) last night

Posted by: Brian | April 8, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Can Milledge really play center field?

In preseason he said that center was his natural position. I have not seen him play balls near the wall well, or come up quickly on shorter balls. Is he still learning this position? Tonight's error seemed to be just a lapse in concentration, which unfortunately is spreading thoughout the team.

On another note, how can one coach clutch hitting? 3,4, and 5 in the batting order have to step up when men are on base. I see the whole team sag when these players are missing opportunities.

There is such a contrast between the mental crispness exhibited in the first 3 games and the opposite displayed in our last 5. I know that Acta does not want to use the word "frustrated" but as a fan that is the one word that describes my reaction.

Posted by: Dale | April 8, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

I know Nats execs are open to suggestions for in game stuff on the scoreboard, etc. and I wanted to throw this out there.

It is nice to look up on the big screen during a player's at bat and see what he's done in each previous AB and what the opposing pitcher's current stats are, but it is frustrating that the ONLY place to see the current batter's Average/Slugging/HR/RBI is on the infield banner scoreboards. You have to strain all the way around if you are sitting in the upper deck of the infield to see the current batter's average! Frustrating. That should be on the big board somewhere.

It's a small thing, but for a baseball geek like me who likes to call pitches in my head, or to a buddy next to me, I like to have all the relevant info available to me in one glance so I can then check out defensive positioning between each pitch.

Thanks! Stuck it out all 9 innings last night. Redding was right, that Amezega AB was the key point in the ball game.

Keep fightin' fellas!

Posted by: Ryan | April 8, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

"Cristian Guzman also booted a ball -- bad throw that Johnson couldn't scoop."

I'm confused. Did he boot it, or did he make a bad throw, or both?

Or does the term "boot" now mean any old kind of error, sort of like how "flu" means any old kind of sickness?

Posted by: tomterp | April 8, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

I was going to post the exact same thing from my experience last night. Hopefully this gets noticed and changed.

~~~~~~~~~~

I know Nats execs are open to suggestions for in game stuff on the scoreboard, etc. and I wanted to throw this out there.

It is nice to look up on the big screen during a player's at bat and see what he's done in each previous AB and what the opposing pitcher's current stats are, but it is frustrating that the ONLY place to see the current batter's Average/Slugging/HR/RBI is on the infield banner scoreboards. You have to strain all the way around if you are sitting in the upper deck of the infield to see the current batter's average! Frustrating. That should be on the big board somewhere.

It's a small thing, but for a baseball geek like me who likes to call pitches in my head, or to a buddy next to me, I like to have all the relevant info available to me in one glance so I can then check out defensive positioning between each pitch.

Thanks! Stuck it out all 9 innings last night. Redding was right, that Amezega AB was the key point in the ball game.

Keep fightin' fellas!

Posted by: Ryan | April 8, 2008 7:56 AM

Posted by: MKevin | April 8, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Add me to the list of scoreboard observers who wanted some season averages up, in addition to last at bats.

Also, how about scoring info?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 8, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Why don't you call out Stan for his attendance comment... 20,000 is paid attendance -- with 18,500 FSE sold, it means their "announced" crowd would have been at least 16,000 even if 1 person showed up last night. "actual" attendance is the true barometer -- what was that last night???? maybe 10,000?

Come on, Barry, don't turn into Boz and drink Stan's koolaid... write the real story here.

Someone do the simple math: 18,500 FSE + 40,000 single game tickets sold on first day (which is what they sold in the THIRD year at RFK; is pitiful compared to other single game ticket stats from other ballparks.) = average attendance starts at around 19,000.

Are the Nats expecting 20,000 walk ups a night to fill this ballpark? come on

Posted by: Reality | April 8, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I've got part of a season ticket in 133. I was there last night. There was nobody around to check tickets as you entered the section. So my guess is I was in the vast minority of people who actually paid to sit there. Stan - why should I pay $45 for a ticket if you all arent going to do your jobs? I could just pay $5 and move down.

Posted by: AlexVA1 | April 8, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I seriously hate Paul LoDuca. Why did we pay so much money for a roided out over the hill catcher again? Let Flores play, he should have been at bat with the bases loaded. If we can't get rid of Lopez, let's get rid of LoDuca.

Posted by: Nats=class,class,class | April 8, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

re: milledge.
i have not seen him get a good jump on a ball yet. not only that, but he doesnt seem to be running full tilt after balls in the gap. either he is a natural 'glider' and it doesnt look like he is running hard, or he is completely out of whack. and after watching last nights game for him in the field, to me, he looks completely out of whack. even on balls he made plays on, he wasnt sharp.

re: attendance.
it sucked. and it was not THAT cold to deter people from going to the game. there were at least 5 sections, entire sections, that did not have one person sitting in them. and considering this is a new ballpark, that is inexcusable. i dont care who they are playing, what is on tv, what the temperature is - this does not happen anywhere else. period. a front running town wants a winner (i.e. caps) before they get behind the team. its pathetic, and upsetting.

at least the food lines were manageable. and metro wasnt too bad after the game.

Posted by: theraph | April 8, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Okay, looking over the box score some more:

Lo Duca - 2 for 4, 1 run, 1 walk, 0 strike outs, .227
Johnson - 1 for 4, double, 1 walk, 2 strike outs, .296
Boone - 0 for 1, strike out, .143
Milledge - 2 for 4, double, 3 runs batted in, .294
Kearns - 0 for 3, 2 walks, 2 strike outs, .259

I'll take Milledge and Lo Duca's lines any night they want to put them up. Johnson and Kearns I'm okay with, given that they contributed and they've done well lately. Watch those strike outs, though.

What do all these guys have in common? They stranded men on base. Johnson, Lo Duca, and Boone stranded two. Mental.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 8, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I agree completely with AlexVA1, COMPLETELY.

Last night, there was aisle traffic galore. I mean we sit on the aisle in the 2nd row, so all the morons were coming down to the rail and yelling crap to the fielders and people moving all over the place. So what did the usher do to these, obviously, drunk kids who were being incredibly disruptive and classless - he comes down, stands with them and laughs at their (quite stupid) insults.

1. Ushers should certainly check tickets, throughout the game.

2. Ushers should not allow people to stand/sit in the aisle during games

3. Ushers should be more strict on people just standing at the rail to yell obscenities to the opposing (or even the home) team.

** I have no problem with a little kid coming down to check out the view or try to get a ball, but when it persists over the course of a game and just for the purpose of people (who obviously didn't pay to sit there) can come down and shout drunken obscenities and obstruct my field of view...I have a big issue with that.

Posted by: Corey | April 8, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I am little disappointed by the attendance last night. At the same time I realize that this is not NY, Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, etc. It will take time to build a fan base that big and that will happen only if the Nats win on a consistent basis.

Let's face it, Stan the Plan is a tad bit of a blow hard. I take anything he says with a grain of salt. I think he is doing a good job building up the franchise, talent wise, but his marketing and customer service efforts are very suspect right now.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 8, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I am a huge defender of the in-game move, but there are clear rules to it. Not being an obnoxious blow hard is right out. Ushers should check tickets of anyone being obnoxious.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 8, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Has the issue of the radar gun been discussed here yet? Last night it seemed like every other pitch was clocked at 58 MPH. Either the gun is flat not working properly or they don't have the line of sight trained properly and it's reading the batter's back-swing after the pitch or something.

Here's a radical thought I had after seeing the HD screen for the first time...

It seems the screen is large enough to show the MASNHD game feed and have it be a fairly spectacular sight. I'm not saying that should be the only thing shown but I think it would be pretty darn cool especially after the batter has had a chance to stand in at the plate etc. Introduce him with the picture, his previous at-bats, stats etc, then cut to the HD game feed during the action. You get more replays, better views of balls/strikes, and a different perspective than what you see from your seats.

Posted by: MKevin | April 8, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Baseball bans close replays, MKevin. Nice thought though.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | April 8, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

There was actually more information about the game - such as previous AB results, batting averages, pitch count, radar gun reading, etc - available on the tiny scoreboard and ribbon boards at RFK than there is on the massive scoreboard and fancy ribbon boards at Nationals Park. Stan needs to fix that. Also, at RFK much of this information was left on the display between innings, but now it's all taken away so that we can watch Clint's antics or lame stuff like the FlexCam in glorious HD. How about shrinking the picture a bit and keeping the game info up around the margins, like they do on TV when they have bad weather or school closing alerts surrounding the picture of the ongoing newscast? Surely the system at the park is sophisticated enough to do that! Remember, Stan, some of us actually do come to watch the game, not just to be "entertained".

Posted by: Anonymous | April 8, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes, it rains. Think about that for a second."

This is what needs to happen next: Shawn Hill needs to pitch without any sharp pain tonight in the P-Nats opener and then make his start for the big club on Sunday. Chad Cordero needs to pitch without pain on Wednesday, also in Potomac, and come off the DL as scheduled on Friday. Wily Mo needs to go on his rehab assignment next week and return to left field and the #6 slot in the batting order shortly thereafter, pushing FLop to the bench and LoDuca and Belliard down into more appropriate slots. Meat needs to get his back in order so he can be the key offensive threat off the bench. Milledge needs to take it off cruise control in the outfield and bring the same intensity on defense that he does on offense. And the Nats need to take the next two from the Marlins and then two of three from the Braves over the weekend in front of a comparatively full house.

That's the to-do list guys, let's have at it.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | April 8, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

MKevin, I think that MLB generally says that they're not allowed to show live game feeds on the jumbo while the game is being played... They can show replays (although not of judgment calls) during a break in the action, but live action feed would be too distracting for the players (especially the batter, since he'd be staring right at it).

I believe that this is different from NFL/NBA/NHL because the screen is not so directly in the field of vision in those sports.

Posted by: faNATic | April 8, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm a full season ticket holder going on 4 years now and have sunk tons of discretionary income, plus time, energy and emotion into this organization. In 2007 I had zero expectations and was rewarded with the hope that things would get better however, watching the last 5 games and attending last nights freez-o-thon in a half empty building has me wondering "what the hell is going on". Sorry Stan but your "carnie" act is getting old, 20K for game #2 in a new park renders no excuses just lots of explanations. So what is it going to be for the rest of the week? Caps playoffs, The Masters, Wizards game, blah, blah, blah.

Earth to Stan, if I want to be amuzed I'll go to Disney World. Find some people who know how to market a 81 home-game, 6 month a year product ASAP or you can look forward to plenty of empty seats. This is DC and Stan has no clue.

Posted by: Tippy Canoe | April 8, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Was there last night. I really don't like having all thos empty high priced seats behind the plate. What does that look like on tv?

BTW the Nats Shuttle to RFK ROCKED!!!! Was home in Twinbrook within 45 minutes of boarding the shuttle at Nats Park.

Posted by: Twinbrook, MD | April 8, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I love Da Meathook but, they need to put his hindparts on the 15 Day DL so he can get himself healthy and in playing shape. I am sympathic to his Diabetes issue but, he is taking up an active roster spot that I think Justin Maxwell would fill nicely.


Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 8, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Twinbrook,

The empty high priced seats looked terrible on TV.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | April 8, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Re: the box score post above

No doubt there were tons of men lob last night, with many offenders and some bad at bats in key spots. However, I don't think Boone should be included there. I don't have the box score in front of me, but my recollection (at the game) is that Boone hit a rocket to very deep center in his pinch-hit ab with (I think) the bases loaded. Shouldn't get lumped in with the weak grounders and pop-ups that we endured.

So many disconcerting things going on with this team right now - ugly starting pitching, worse relief pitching that's already being used too much, shoddy defense, and wasting alot of good offensive opportunities. A smooth 4-1 victory with Bergmann going 7 would do wonders right now.

The good - Guz and Milledge at the top of the order (is this Guz for real?), and Nick is healthy and having good at bats (usually). That might be all for the good at present.

Am I the only one that's "over" Austin Kearns? We've seen something like 700 ab's now, and I think we could/should have someone much better there - hitting 5th and occupying a defensive position where you should be able to find a very productive player, particularly for the money - $3.5M. I know Church was an attitude problem, but I think he produced similarly (if not better) and the Org. ran him out of town and seems to love Mr. Kearns. Your thoughts?

Posted by: macman | April 8, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"The empty high priced seats looked terrible on TV."

Actually, the seats themselves looked great on TV in HD. The problem was that there was no one sitting in most of them. If Stan can't sell them to fans, then he ought to have ads put on them instead.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 8, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Is Guz for real? His line so far this season;

.316/.308/.553 for .861 OPS

That .308 doesn't look good for a lead-off guy, especially since I think a .553 slugging percentage is unrealistic (although somehow Guz is a triple machine...he had 9 in limited action last year and 2 great ones last night).

If he was really going to slug .553 (2nd in the team right now to Nick's .556) then we'd move him down in the order. Milledge's obp is .324 so far so maybe eventually switching the top to would be in order down the line.

Real truth is that both Guzman and Milledge need to watch NJ and learn to take a walk every now and then...

Posted by: estuartj | April 8, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Well, another disapointment. The LOBs are driving me nuts. We get walks and we don't score them. We have bases loaded 1 out, no scores--this is getting very old.

The high priced empty seats look very, well, high priced and empty, on HDTV. On the other hand, I was there on OD, and am still suffering from the bad cold I caught so had I tickets last night I don't think I'd have been there either. Have tickets for Thursday, with warmer weather scheduled to arrive. Maybe some less than moribund play will also arrive by then. In fairness, 7 runs isn't moribund, but the LOBs, the errors, the unearned runs! Ugly.

Posted by: NatsFly | April 8, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I agree that all those empty seats behind the plate looked terrible on TV last night. Those have to be filled, period, or it reinforces the impression that D.C. doesn't care about baseball. If you can't sell 'em for three hundred bucks (and what moron pays three hundred bucks for a baseball game?), then sell 'em for fifty bucks. But get them sold.

Also -- ushers shouldn't check tickets of non-obnoxious fans. Especially given the big price jump in the new park and those huge fields of empty good seats. Moving down is a baseball tradition. You want to make sure the guy sitting next to you paid the same for his seats? Go to a football game.

Posted by: Cliffy | April 8, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Also also -- new post.

Posted by: Cliffy | April 8, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Austin Kearns, his line so far this season;

.259/.412/.333 for an ops of .745

His OBP looks great (if we can believe that will hold up) and his slugging is terrible.

Being the 5 man when 6-8 aren't doing much is tough (and getting junk pitches leads to a good obp, if you have the eye). So when WMP gets back and/or Lo Duca (.619 ops), Belliard (.701) and Lopez (.595!!! ops) start producing his numbers will probably reverse themselves.

I have no comments on his status with the team, except that asside from him we have 4 promising (and younger) OF with Garrett Guzman and Justin Maxwell waiting in the wings.

Posted by: estuartj | April 8, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Good point, Corey. I offer the following from the A-Z guide on the team site, with the comment that it should be enforced both ways.

---

VISITING TEAM FANS
Visiting team fans are Nationals Park guests. Harassment of the visiting team or their fans will not be tolerated and may result in ejection.

Posted by: natsfan1a | April 8, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

@ Tippy

Oh, you enjoyed last year's 1-8 start did you? I myself prefer 3-5.
@Bob L.
You are absolutely correct in what should happen next. I think we get back on schedule all the players-Chief, WilyMo, Hill, etc. We will have to wait to see if it helps, although I believe it will.
@ Juan John
How about dem CAPS (Lets Go!).
To everyone else, take a deep breath. We are better off than the Tigers (are they a bad team?) and things should improve (performance and attendance) particularly with the advent of warm weather.

Posted by: Sec 204 | April 8, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Lo Duca!?!?!?!?! He wears his pants hiked up like the old italian barber I had growing up. Hey Mr. Nicolosi, a regular boys please. My mom says taper in the back.

Lo Duca can't hit. He can't catch. He can't thow out a base runner. Eat the money. Let Flores catch all week and Lo Duca catch on Sundays.

Posted by: 6th and D | April 8, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Cliffy dont tell me about baseball tradition. Ushers should absolutely check tickets. Ushers at RFK were actually pretty good about checking tickets - last night they were non existent. If thats the way things are going to be at this new park - thats fine. I'll buy $5 tickets and go sit 6 rows back from first base.

Posted by: AlexVA1 | April 8, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The second game and they barely fill half the stadium! HAHAHA!!! Baseball sucks!

Posted by: HAHAHA!!! | April 8, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Very frustrating to be at the game or watch on TV and see all the empty seats right behind homeplate. I believe those folks have a responsibility to be in those seats. Regardless of how many are at a particular game, especially on TV, if there's a sparse crowd in the high roller seats, it looks bad. Come on folks! Show up! Or, at least spend a few innings in your seat rather than in the club!

Posted by: Tim in 108 | April 11, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

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