Friday, December 28, 2007
Out With The Old--In With The New!!
In an attempt to Usher in 2008 and say a Fond Farewell to 2007--its time for the Second Nats320 Ins & Outs for The New Year!! All in Fun--in no particular order.
Here We Go:
In--New Nationals Park. Out--RFK Stadium (although the Convenience Factor of Getting In and Out of RFK--will NEVER BE Beat by New Nationals Park)
In--Section 218 (at least for The African Queen and I). Out--Section 320 (The Place where we enjoyed more fun than we could have EVER IMAGINED. Sohna and I are going to miss that Section 320--it was special--for SO MANY GOOD REASONS).
In--Nats320 Blog keeps its name. Out--Despite Moving from Section 320 to Section 218. You Gotta Remember Your Roots.
In--A Real Club Level with Amenities. Out--Zero Amenities at RFK--except for what you brought yourself to the park.
In--Limited Sun Protection at New Nationals Park for those Sultry DC Summers. Out--Plenty of Shade or Cover from the Overhangs at RFK. Sun Protection may be one of the most important elements at New Nationals Park.
In--Virtually No Weekday Afternoon Getaway Games (Maybe Sun Protection will not be needed as much) Out--Plenty of "Businessmen Specials"--consistently our favorite ballgames.
In--Wide concourses--sightlines throughout the new park. Out--The narrow dark and walled-in concourses of RFK.
In--Real Grass that will last an entire 81 Game Schedule. Out--No longer sharing the field with DC United. Both of whom destroyed RFK's Turf over the summer months. By the end of each previous baseball season--The RFK Field looked AWFUL!!
In--Another chance to prove that Washington, DC is a GREAT BASEBALL TOWN!! Out--Only Baltimore Oriole Fans up the Parkway, their Owner and Major League Baseball itself--may have yet to figure that fact out. Sadly.
In--Limited Parking for New Nationals Park. Out--10,000 Parking Spaces at RFK.
In--Metro. Out--Metro's Never Out--they just need to Step To The Plate and Deliver on New Nationals Park Transportation. They can offer NO EXCUSES. Everyone is depending on them.
In--Centerplate (as new Concessionaire) Way Out--Aramark (Actually The African Queen is such a Fabulous Cook--I think if see applied for the concession contract against Armark straight up--she might even have won over their poor work.) Aramark will not be missed.
In--Once Completed--Three Statues of Washington Baseball Greats (Walter Johnson, Josh Gibson and Frank Howard), as well as--a revolving mobile at New Nationals Park. Out--The Robert F. Kennedy Bust outside the Main Entrance to RFK Stadium and not much else.
In--Home Team Batting Practice watched by Ticket Holders. Out--Only over a three day period last September, in three years, did Ticket Holders get to watch ANY Nats Batting Practice.
In--First Base Dugout for Our Washington Nationals. Out--3rd Base Dugout for Our Washington Nationals.
In--Reportedly Finest In The Game HDTV Scoreboard. Out: That Tiny Screen in Upper Right Field at RFK that, at times, was hard to read.
In--Digital Stereo Sound. Now EVERYBODY CAN ACTUALLY HEAR CLINT!! Out--Muffled, virtually inaudible sound system at RFK--where you could NEVER UNDERSTAND WHAT CLINT SAID!!--Some might find the old sound--comforting though.
In--Bullpens where fans can actually chat with the players. Out--Bullpens so far removed from Fan Contact--they might as well have been in the parking lots.
In--Our Washington Nationals actually have some good young prospects in the lower minor leagues. Out--a virtually bereft of talent minor league system inherited by The Lerner Group, Stan Kasten and Jim Bowden. Really, in a short period of time--there is hope coming from below.
In--Still no really solid Starting Pitching. Out--No Solid Starting Pitching.
In--Hopes for The Return of Livan Hernandez to the fold. Out--Any chance for a Bookend Moment with Livo throwing the first pitch at New Nationals Park on March 30--should not be missed. Fan Favorite and GREAT ENTERTAINER. And, that's what the game is all about.
In--Hopes that Starting Pitching can somehow make it out of the 6th inning more often.
Out--Overused Bullpen which was burnt to a crisp by 2007 Starters flaming out early.
In--Young Pitchers named Detwiler, Clippard, Lannan, Mock & Chico on the 40 Man Roster. Out--A list so long of mediocre talent, its too large for this posting. More than anything--young pitching talent shows the direction of Our Washington Nationals.
In--A Championship Caliber Bench for Our Manager Manny Acta. Out--A Bench with Robert Fick and D'Angelo Jimenez first up (what a difference a few months make).
In--A Healthy Nick Johnson. Out--A Slow Healing, Unable to Play in 2007--Nick Johnson.
In--A Conscious Free Austin Kearns. Out--Although Kearns' incident with Nick Johnson was only just an accident--deep down inside--you just know Austin was hurting last year over Nick Johnson's slow recovery. Pride tells me that. Austin Kearns needs to be set free--mentally.
In--A HUGE OVATION the VERY MOMENT Nick Johnson sets himself on the field at NEW NATIONALS PARK--A Feel Good Moment--like no other.
Out--Sadness of not seeing Our Number 24 take the field in the final season of play at RFK Stadium.
In--"The Most Thrilling Closer In The Game"--successfully so. Out--Hopefully, "The Chief Cardiologist" has studied up on his late inning Heart Wrenching Performances--where everyone needed an Automatic Defibrillator to survive. But, you could never say Chad Cordero is NOT INTERESTING--each and every time he trots to the mound to take the baseball. Yeah, Sohna and I LOVE "The Chief"!!
In--The Return Of Ray King. Out--So Jimbo can trade him again for a prospect come July or August.
In--A Hopefully Decent and Respectable Elijah Dukes. Out--The Troubled Person that he has been throughout his young life (Lets Only Hope).
In--A Starting Catcher in Paul LoDuca, who just two days after signing with Our Washington Nationals saw his career turned upside down by The Mitchell Report. Out--A Quality Human Being in Brian Schneider.
In--Lastings Milledge. Out--My Main Man!!! Ryan Church. "Church on Sunday", or any other day for that matter--will never be the same. And the fact that Church will MISS THE POPE in April--really will be a missed opportunity for some fun with his name.
In--FLop is back. Out--But according to Barry Svrluga at The Washington Post--Felipe Lopez is NOT CONSIDERED the starter at second base in 2008.
In--Ronnie Belliard is back. Out--he personally put Lopez out of the lineup and on the bench by consistently fielding and turning The Double Play, as well as, ANYONE IN THE GAME last season. Our Number 10 was fun to watch--always gave his best on the field. You could never doubt his efforts in 2007. Impressive at times.
In--Just 5 Former Montreal Expos Players still on Our Washington Nationals Roster (Cordero, Rauch, Hill, Patterson and Johnson). Out--Three Dozen Others--most all for the better.
In--More Home Runs, More Extra Base Hits--More BIG RALLIES. Out--Baseball after Baseball hammered--then landing in an opposing fielder's glove on the Warning Track at RFK. Very Frustrating At Times.
In--Virtually NO FOUL Territory outside the baselines at New Nationals Park (Batters are Going to Love it.) Out--Spaciously wide foul territory at RFK (Pitchers are going to Miss RFK).
In--Hopefully a .500 Record for 2008. Out--Anytime winning Just 73 Games is considered a Successful Season.
In-- "Let Teddy Win!!! Let Teddy Win!!! (Just Once?) Out--Zero for RFK Stadium and he even lost on his own Bobblehead Day!! What A Loser Teddy was--but he did become LOVABLE! Just the sight of THOUSANDS RISING on the final day of 2007 at RFK during the 4th inning to see Teddy--and then begin BOOING when TR didn't even POST UP--Memorable For A LONG TIME. There is NO WAY ANYONE with Our Washington Nationals could have EVER expected the mileage out of the Teddy Stunt--NO
In--Our Let Teddy Win!! Chant. Out--A Regular Staple before each and every single 7th Inning Stretch late in 2007 at RFK Stadium. Teddy's Coming Out Party occurred in late July when Teddy--reacting to the Enormous Crowd Response to his presence in the tunnel to the left of Section 320--stood on the Railing to take in The Love. A moment that found most everyone along the third base side of the old ballyard--turning to look. The Commotion so loud--Saul Rivera actually stepped off the mound, Ryan Zimmerman stood with his hands on his hips--glancing into the crowd. The Entire Nationals Bench was peering over top their 3rd Base Dugout. That Instant still stands as one of My Favorites of 2007. Teddy had ARRIVED!! At that Moment In Time--it DID NOT MATTER--what the score was on the field. Very, Very Special.
In--The Rumored 5th President? On The Outs--Someone Teddy Can Beat?
In--The Sight of My Best Friend Screech!!! Flying UP to visit Sohna and I at First Pitch of every game in Section 218. Out--In Section 320, he just had to walk up an aisle to greet every one of us. Now--he's going to have to scurry to Club Level. Can Screech MAKE IT?
In--The Curly "W" Logo is HERE TO STAY. Out--The "DC" Logo continues to be phased out. As I have stated before--I LOVE The Curly "W", but I also enjoy The "DC" Logo. There is room for both.
And Finally--The Nats320 Blog continues to be on your "IN" reading list concerning Our Washington Nationals. Out--Hopefully, not for a Long, Long, Time.
Sohna and I wish each and every one of you--A Safe And Happy New Year for 2008!!
Let The Fun Begin at New Nationals Park!!
Go Nats!! & Let Teddy Win!! Let Teddy Win!! Let Teddy Win!!