Thursday, March 27, 2008
Pointing, shouting, laughing and downright enjoying the moments. Our Washington Nationals arrived at nearly completed New Nationals Park at approximately 9:10PM this evening to check out their new home for baseball in The Nation's Capital. Were they ever excited. Like children opening presents on Christmas Day--they experienced tonight the fun and joy of unwrapping a new gift. A new ballpark that seats 41,888 fans.
Breaking camp in Florida, Our Washington Nationals chartered back to DC in order to check out their new digs, all it's amenities--including The New Clubhouse.
“It’s not only nice—it’s better than anyone of us thought it would be," exclaimed Ryan Zimmerman. "We are very impressed. With the Ownership we have—you can’t really expect anything less. They did a terrific job.” Our Number 11 is not the only one almost lost for words--as every player, manager and coach enthusiastically took in the sights.
“Well, I am just speechless," said Our Manager Manny Acta. "I saw this place in January and to now come over here and see it finished—a tremendous feeling. I couldn’t wait to get on the field tonight. I am not even a player anymore and I wanted to get on the field—it’s just so beautiful.”
Jason Bergmann adding: “This is impressive—really nice. I told some of the other guys. This is a complete and massive difference from RFK. Everything is different.”
Matt Chico: “Honestly, I just can’t speak. It’s unbelievable—everything about it—the clubhouse, the field, the lighting—the presence of being here. I am just overwhelmed by it all.”
And Nick Johnson--"This is mighty, mighty impressive. What a feeling to be here."
Yes, Our Washington Nationals enjoyed their first experience at New Nationals Park. "The Most Thrilling Closer In The Game" checked out the new Bullpen: “Basically, I wanted to see it," exclaimed Chad Cordero. "The Bullpen is really nice. They got heaters down there for us for April and May. We got bathrooms. Shoot, it’s Awesome!!”
If I recall—you had to run around the stadium to find a bathroom? (SBF)
“Exactly, we had to use a portable. (BUSTING OUT IN LAUGHTER). Here we have our own—it’s PERFECT!!” (The Best Line Of The Night)
OK—here you are—looking up at the scoreboard. What game do you play first—Halo or Guitar Hero? (SBF)
“Shoooot. I would have to say Guitar Hero. Absolutely.”
Well you know—it’s here in the ballpark at the Kids Strike Zone as Sohna and I saw Teddy—The Racing President--Playing it today. (SBF)
“That’s great and this entire ballpark is terrific!!”
What a difference? (SBF)
“The lights are pretty bright—you can see in here. Sometimes at RFK you felt like you were playing with no lights. And look at the field—it looks deep (warning tracks far away).”
As it turns out--for one player wearing the home whites come Opening Night--this is his THIRD time playing in a brand new ballpark: "I have been fortunate to have been in a couple, Milwaukee—then over to St.Louis," stated Ray King. “It’s funny when you open up a new stadium. You get a lot more people coming in. You get fans that really enjoy the game and you get new people coming in. You mix those two together and get 40,000 people a night here and that extra boost from the fans can help give us that extra pitch to get the guy out--or that extra hit to win the game.”
So, you feel this new ballpark will help the team? (SBF)
“Anytime. Anytime you get that extra push and support—it always helps.”
At one point--even Our General Manager Jim Bowden was lost for words--but recovered nicely. "This is first class all the way—all the way down to the details. All you have to do is talk to our players. Every single detail for the players has been taken care of. From the workout room, to the conditioning room--to the training—to the batting cages—everything is top of the line—FIRST CLASS. Just look at the lockers. Everything was done First Class. This explains what The District is all about. What Our Ownership is all about. And What Stan Kasten is all about.”
Once Baseball's Vagabond Team--Our Washington Nationals returned to DC Tonight on a new high. For the first time in nearly two decades, this Franchise has a New Ballpark, in America's Capital--a city to call their very own.