Thursday, September 27, 2007
Odds & Ends
First Subject: Last week word spread that Our Washington Nationals and MASN would not retain Bob Carpenter as their lead Play-By-Play TV Announcer. No, I was not surprised. What has become clear under The Lerners and Team President Stan Kasten is the WANTING to put THEIR OWN STAMP on The Franchise. Carpenter was not a hire of Mr. Kasten. Don Sutton was. Its unlikely Bob Carpenter would have been retained for 2007--if not for Major League Baseball giving Carpenter a two year contract in 2006. Its what new management always does--bring in someone they are more comfortable with.
No one can be shocked when A Franchise is Building from Scratch. Every aspect is scrutinized--Even The Radio & TV Personalities.
Fortunately, Charlie Slowes has provided excitement for thousands of Nats Radio Fans since 2005 (He is also immensely popular). And his partner, Dave Jageler, has improved on the quality since joining "Mr. Bang!! Zoom!!" in the broadcast booth a year later. Really, Charlie and Dave are a pleasure to listen to each and every day Our Washington Nationals play a baseball game. Nothing is finer than listening to Washington Nationals Baseball on The Radio. Fans are comfortable with these two. We got it going--luckily so.
Fortune and Compatibility that Sutton and Carpenter do not possess as a team--a situation that must be addressed. And, it has nothing to do with Bob Carpenter personally. I have never met him. Bob Carpenter didn't really seem to understand the game. The MASN Broadcast was, many times, about HIM--not necessarily about Our Team--or the plays at hand. Its important for The Play-By-Play Broadcaster to not only describe the action--but the give me a sense of the excitement, or the dismay. Bob Carpenter always seemed to be talking down to me. I was just his pawn. Baseball fans are sharper than Mr. Carpenter realizes. Never do I like being treated in such a way.
Tell me something I may not know--DESCRIBE to me the action in a THRILLING WAY!! Don't rehash the generic lines. I want to watch the game, be entertained. Never, do I wish to be just a bystander. The Game is not about you. Its about the play on the field.
Hard Work, which Don Sutton has given me with delight. Not one single away game for Our Washington Nationals has gone by where Mr. Sutton did not say something that had me thinking. Never has a broadcast passed, where Don Sutton did not have me saying: I Did Not Know That!!" And, as far a The African Queen is concerned--Don Sutton was a REVELATION. She learned more baseball from Don's Down Home Views, in one baseball season, than ANYONE over the past three years of Our Washington Nationals Baseball. Its because of Don Sutton--she started watching the games more intensely. She could understand him. He wasn't talking down to her. How wonderful has that been for ME!! Probably, for you.
Its an important aspect of a Young Franchise looking to build a Fan Base.
No, I don't know who will replace Bob Carpenter--maybe Don Sutton himself will become The Lead Announcer. I would not be surprised. Its too bad Pete Van Wieren is not available from The Braves. He and Don were perfect partners for 17 years in Atlanta. Van Wieren one of baseball's best kept secrets. But, whatever happens--the result will be another mark put on Our Franchise by Ownership--doing it THEIR WAY--Not Someone Elses Way!!
My good friend Troy--who has sat to the right of Sohna for the past three years in Section 320, mentioned the following to me during the last game played at RFK Stadium. "Why did you not write about the tipping of The Cap last night?"
Yes, how could I forget. For some time now--its been an ongoing conversation, in Section 320, that when a pitcher for Our Washington Nationals actually throws a fine game--and is relieved by Our Manager Manny Acta--said pitcher does not doff his cap to the crowd. Rarely, if ever, has it occurred at RFK Stadium. And, I don't want to hear from the negative folks who constantly berate the fact that NO ONE DESERVES such an ovation. That's a bunch of crap. Because--there have been a handful of times where Our Pitchers well deserved the acclamations. But, they denied Our Fans the pleasure of a response.
At least until this past Saturday Night, when Section 320 went Nuts over Tim Redding--not only doffing his cap--but waving to the crowd. Our Number 17 had pitched a fine game--going deep into the 7th inning--allowing just one run. With respect--the entire third base side of the stands at RFK stood in appreciation. Tim Redding, not only took off his cap in thanks--but waved it to the crowd. Julie, Troy, Sohna and I--couldn't believe it. For the first time, in some time--A Player for Our Washington Nationals acknowledged their Fans!!
How in the world did I forget to write about it? It was a seminal moment at The Old Ballyard. An Event we want to see more often in 2008 from The Players for Our Washington Nationals. Its not alot to ask for a tip to the crowd--for appreciating your GOOD WORK. Not one of us has been more behind you. Not one of us deserves to be slighted. Please, players for Our Washington Nationals, show your appreciation more. Its not much to ask.
So, where are you going to park next year? Six months from now--will it all pan out? Will Metro be the convenient way to New Nationals Park? Tailgating is out. There are no Open Spaces near South Capitol Street. You can say all you want about the dilapidated state of RFK Stadium--but you can't deny it was the most convenient place to get to--and PARK. Most Importantly enjoyable, while sharing time with your friends. Lot 8 should be placed in Our Washington Nationals Hall of Fame. Thousands of Fans are going to miss it. Lot 8 was one happening place. Nothing quite like it.
Finally--who would you like to see as The Fifth Racing President? Although not officially confirmed--more than a few have mentioned to me that GW, Abe, Tom and Lovable Teddy will have a new Partner come 2008. Who should it be??
Just Random Odds & Ends on the final Off Day of The 2007 Season.
By the way--You coming to Citizens Bank Park for The Season Finale on Sunday?