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
WAY.)

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!!

27 comments:

Skedeebs said...

SBF-

Yes, your column will be part of my "in" basket throughout 2008, a daily read. Thanks for your enthusiasm.

Let's hope that Livo is only one free-agent pitcher the Nats sign before March. Since the available pitchers are as fragile as some on our roster, it would be good to have some backup.

6th and D said...

Can't wait until we have no connection to Montreal. You know, Harmon Killebrew said that he's never understood the move made from Washington to Minnesota. To him, it just didn't make sense. Then, he pondered the new Senators (my Senators). That move to Texas was plain cruelty. Plus they drew less fans in Arlington than they did in Southeast. Crazy. I have a childhood friend that lived next door in the '60s and '70s. We went to hundreds of games at DC Stadium, thanks to our dads, and the fact that we lived in Hillcrest Heights, just across Southern Avenue. I called him in '05 and said 'Johnny, we got our club back. We'll be back at RFK watching the Nats.' He cracked me up because he said that he go see the team only when his "Texas Senators" were in town for interleague play. He has followed the Texas club since their departure and is still a fan today. As an STH, I am going to go get his butt in Damascus and drag him to see the Rangers this year and see if he takes to our new Nats. I have a feeling that when he sees the red hat with the curly W, he'll fall hard as if they were a Saturday night redhead! Here's hoping. Happy 2008!

janet said...

2008 -- Yes, I'll be reading Nats320. I think it's cool you're keeping the blog name as is, which will remind us of this part of the team's history. Likewise, I think Montreal roots will certainly have to be a part the team's future -- after all, that's where Acta and St. Clare joined the organization. But I'm pleased that the Nationals are paying tribute to the history of baseball IN Washington, and I look forward to being part of the history yet to be made.

Anonymous said...

IN - High ceilings with troubled pasts and questionable morals

OUT - Good Citizens who make real cash. Bye Bye Chad, Nick, and Austin you were just too "good" for this low budget team of misfits in Jim Bowden's image (DUI's not a problem for Jim). Is this the type of club Zimmerman wants to sign up with when the time comes? Is this the way to build a franchise?

Edward J. Cunningham said...

One more thing I hope to see the Nats do in 2008. I would like to see our AAA affiliate closer to the area. If the Orioles are unwilling to make a trade that would allow the Nats their affiliates in Norfolk or Bowie, then the Nats should consider upgrading Harrisburg or Hagerstown to AAA. (Getting Richmond from the Braves would be a real coup.) Potomac would be nice, but I don't think the Prince William government would want the crowds and traffic that come with a AAA team. Getting a decent A or AA stadium may be enough for the P-Nats.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Uh, Anomynous? The last time I checked, Chad Cordero, Nick Johnson, and Austen Kearns were still on the Nats roster and not on the trading block.

I have yet to hear any rumors of Ryan Zimmerman being unhappy, but if even casual Yankee fans (when it looked like A-Rod was leaving the team) are asking if he would be available, the Nats would be well advised to ignore his "slump" during 2007 and sign him now to a long-term contract.

Anonymous said...

I think what we seeing is the continuation of the process started the day the Lerners took over. No Alfonso, No Vidro, No Livo etc. Now we are seeing no Brian, no Church and by Spring Training no Chad and no Lopez and finally by July 31 Nick and Austin will be gone.

What started out with full support of fans as building is turning out to be a dump of anyone who has long term deals or arbitration ready that costs anything above MLB min.

I think they will do the same thing with Zimmerman when the time comes. They should be locking him up for Millions and years but they can not resist paying him MLB min $ as long as they can. Zim can see the trend all around him. Why would he want to stay as he becomes the older guy they do not want to pay?

Anonymous said...

It does make you pause and think when the team will not even make a long term commitment to Charlie on the radio. Love the Nats but really hate the approach the Lerners have brought. Baseball is a business but sometimes you just spend a few 100K and move on!

From Ronnie’s Bats to Manny’s Staff to Bob C’s fire and hire and the Radio guy’s negotiations……The FO has a lot of room for improvement. All these moves amount to a drop in the bucket with respect to pay roll but have a huge cost in good will of employees and fans trust. Lerners need a lesson in public relations.

An Briosca Mor said...

"It does make you pause and think when the team will not even make a long term commitment to Charlie on the radio."

How do you know this? It could just as easily be that Charlie doesn't want to make a commitment to the team at this point. Perhaps he is out fishing for a better offer somewhere else. Perhaps he is just holding off on signing a contract so he doesn't have to do off-season events where he'd have to interact with clueless fans. There's never been a negative word published about Charlie from anyone associated with the team. There is no, absolutely no, indication that they don't want him back. They are in negotiation, and both sides have chosen to remain silent about the progress of the negotiation. There's nothing wrong with that. I suggest you wait and see who's sitting in the radio booth on the first broadcast before you go throwing blame around.

Anonymous said...

Suggestion for Blog Name, Nats320-218.

Expose said...

There is 6 Ex-Expos on the Nats 40 man roster. You forgot Luis Ayala.

Ayala, Rauch and Cordero are the core of the Nats bullpen, but they were also the core of the 2004 Expos bullpen.

Also Manny Acta, Jerry Morales and Randy St-Claire were coaches with the Expos.

paul said...

There is no way Livo is returning. Methinks you all are drinking too much eggnog.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Expose--Thanks for correcting my mistake of leaving Luis Ayala out of The Former Expos. How could I possibly miss him--considering I just spoke with him a few weeks back. Thanks.

Anonymous--Section 320-218 sounds like a Zip Code. But then Beverly Hills 90210 did OK for itself as well. Thanks for the suggestion. Sohna and I will consider it.

Livo Returning--You never know these days in baseball. Sometimes a player just wants a contract--ANY Contract--because he's not as wanted as he personally thought he would be. January begins worry time for players without contracts. They Want To Be In Camp. Any MLB Camp.

Anonymous said...

ABM,

Your comments just prove my point. Lerners are treating everything like a business transaction. Running a baseball team is not like building a mall. They must build a on going relationship with the fans. Not all transactions are equal and not all should be treated like buying lumber at the yard. Charlie should not have been treated this way. He should have been told not having him with the Nats was not an option and they would write a contract that paid him what he thought he was worth compared to his peers for the next 10 years.

Done.....cheap and decisive....move on to issues that should be negotiated like a mall development and get the no brainer out of the way. Lerners keep making the same mistakes over and over....they need to learn perspective and priorities. Oh and if Charlie does not want to talk brain dead fans like me then just build that into the contract.

An Briosca Mor said...

Anonymous, you're just proving that you don't know what you're talking about. First off, everything in major league baseball is a business transaction. Everything. Don't kid yourself by thinking it isn't.

Second, it may not even be possible for the Nats to give Charlie a long-term contract. Is he employed by the team, or is he employed by the radio network with team approval a requirement for him getting the job? If he's employed by the radio network, a long-term contract may not be possible because IIRC the team is only in a year-to-year relationship with their radio partner. They would not be able to contract with talent beyond the timeframe for which they themselves are under contract. This makes the radio situation different than the TV situation, since there's a 30-year arrangement with MASN allowing them to offer Sutton and Carpenter longer-term contracts.

Third, how do you know that Charlie even wants to come back? He hasn't ever said, one way or the other. Yet you immediately cast the team as the villian in this scenario, even though it has yet to play out. That just proves once again that you don't have a clue as to what's going on here. Neither do I, for that matter - but I admit it. We don't know what's going on, and we won't until something is announced or the first broadcast looms. Then and only then would casting any kind of blame be appropriate.

Anonymous said...

ABM,

Not all businesses are the same. Not all people can run all businesses. Not all colors are black and white.

It seems you are color blind.

janet said...

Anonymous -- why don't you make a checklist for us? July 31, 2008 is a Thursday. On Friday, August 1, 2008, let's go down your list and see which of your predictions have come to pass. It might even be interesting to review your list from time to time before then, to see if you have any additions, or to see what's developing. But it would be easier to keep track of if you use another nickname, (maybe listmaker?) so we can distinguish your posts from anyone else who chooses to post anonymously.

Anonymous said...

Fair Enough....

Trendline

Marc said...

Hi. Thanks for this great post!

Would you like to trade links? My brand-new blog covering the Tampa Bay Rays is at http://raysbaseball.blogspot.com

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Janet, there's one more thing to do on Friday, August 1, 2008---wish the Highness of Hobble, the Duke of Dangle, Lord Balls a happy 58th birthday. I'm referring of course to Johnny Avocado, better known as the Greaseman!

Edward J. Cunningham said...

I have another prediction. If Nick Johnson isn't playing for the Nats on the Greaseman's birthday, it won't be because he's been traded but that he can't come back from his injuries and thus won't be playing for anyone.

Anonymous said...

Nope Nick will be a DH in the American League with Nats paying part of his salary like the Vidro deal

--Trendline

edward j. cunningham said...

Anomynous, you misunderstood what Janet was trying to tell you. She didn't want you to add "Trendline" at the bottom of your posts. I believe she wants you to use a username LIKE "Trendline" so we can see who you are and distinguish you from the other "Anomynous"es that pop in here from time to time.

If you don't have your own blog or a google account (as I do), check "Nickname" at the bottom and fill it in with "Trendline." This is what I am doing in this post to show that it can be done.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how this helps you but I'm Game...

Anonymous said...

does it work now?

paul said...

What if someone else steals the "trendline" moniker before Mr. anonymous figures it out? Havoc breaks out on the blog. . . .

Better yet, maybe we should vote on the best name for him. Glassishalfempty, Kreskin, Cyberphobe? I actually did just have a glass of eggnog, so forgive the silliness. I mean no harm.

janet said...

Anonymous (Trendline), or others --to choose a nickname for an identity, fill in the comment box as usual. Below the comment box, under choose an identity, check the button beside nickname, fill in the box, and ignore the box for URL. I've usually double checked my post by clicking preview, but that's probably not necessary. It's worked for me in 2007...