Saturday, April 05, 2008
"This was the perfect opportunity to allow the kids to check out all the ballpark offers for them--without worrying about missing the game," said John (regular Nats320 Reader). Along with his two girls and their just produced Washington Nationals Build-A-Bear, John and his family joined a few thousand others this afternoon at New Nationals Park. Saturday was Open House on South Capitol Street. Anyone wishing to check out Our Washington Nationals new ballpark could just come on down, walk around and take in the sights and views. If you had yet to visit--today was the perfect chance to personally observe and decide what you like and may not like about the new stadium.
Concessions were open, all three Club Levels too, and a few of the high dollar Suites. If you wished, just prop yourself down in a seat of your choice and watch today's game--from St. Louis--on The HDTV Scoreboard. The Cards and Our Nats from Busch Stadium.
Of course--there was a sales pitch included. Many seats still available in full and partial season ticket packages were clearly marked. A Cardboard Flyer with seat location, amenities and prices attached to each seat. The sight of many fans walking around The President's Club and Diamond Club Seats viewing the price tags of $22,000 and $11,000--oooohing!! & aaaaahing!!--funny.
But there were bargains to be had as well. Take a look at this Partial Plan in the right field pavilion--$190.
Sohna and I used this Open House to meet up with some friends that we missed on Opening Night, try some additional food choices and take in the view of the baseball diamond from the many different angles offered. Standing in Section 236 Row X--at the upper top step of right field--the playing field did not look too far away. There are some really good seats outside the lower bowl. Some of which have those terrific views of Washington, DC.
At times--we actually watched the game on the scoreboard. Interestingly--The MASN Broadcast was not in High Def. The difference was very noticeable. MASN's signal this afternoon did not look sharp on the high quality screen. Too bad, that was something The African Queen and I were looking forward to.
Sohna tried the Philly Cheese Steak for lunch and was disappointed to see it served with melted cheese (like Velveeta) and a sparse addition of onions and peppers. She wanted to try the Hard Times Cafe, but they were not open for this event, neither were Gifford's Ice Cream, nor Red, Hot & Blue.
Nothing cracked me up more than when I purchased a Helmet Sundae and was told the only plastic team souvenir available--was The New York Yankees. Not a single Curly "W" Helmet in sight? A friend of ours found another stand later--but that one was selling sundaes with Los Angeles Angels, St. Louis Cardinals and Baltimore Orioles helmets. "I really wanted that Nats Helmet," said Bryan. "I going to have to come back to get one later." After Bryan mentioned he waited in line for a good 20 minutes at Ben's Chili Bowl--we explained to him many other stands in New Nationals Park sell The Ben's Half Smoke with all the fixings. "Oh--that's good information," he responded.
While visiting The PNC Diamond Club--we had never noticed the three special Stadium Seats on display. First--an original seat from Old Griffith Stadium. Then, sitting side by side--one honoring My Favorite Player of All Time!!--Frank Howard's white painted seat from RFK Stadium. One of many upper deck Home Runs that "Hondo" hit at the Old Ballyard on East Capitol Street. Finally--a yellow painted seat to commemorate Ryan Zimmerman's tremendous home run last June 3rd against David Wells & The San Diego Padres. A prodigious blast in the mist and rain that reached the yellow seats in left field. That shot was launched!! "Z" got it all that afternoon. If you were there--you would never forgot that Home Run!!
Honestly, we didn't watch much of the game on the screen, but when Nick Johnson powered out his first home run of the season in the top of the 8th--a few hundred folks still on hand--got up to cheer. Then, when Jesus Flores hammered his two run shot in the 9th, pulling Our Washington Nationals within one run--those remaining whooped it up like the game was being played right in front of them. Sitting with our friends Phil & Robert--we all started laughing. It was RALLYTIME!!! and everyone was now fully watching the High Def Scoreboard--involved in the game at hand. But unfortunately, Cristian Guzman ended this afternoon's two affairs--one in St. Louis and the other in Washington, DC--when he flew out to centerfield for out number three. Rally over, Game Over--Open House Over. A 5-4 Loss.
After three straight wins to open the 2008 season--Our Washington Nationals find themselves now at .500--losers of three straight. Can John Lannan stop the bleeding tomorrow in the series finale? Always the great equalizer baseball--no team is ever as good or as bad as anyone believes.
Chad Cordero reported today that he felt no pain throwing a bullpen session in St. Louis. Throwing all fastballs, no off speed stuff--Our Number 32 believes he will be ready to fully re-gain his closer role this coming Friday evening at New Nationals Park. The first day "The Most Thrilling Closer In The Game" is eligible to come off the Disabled List. Considering that Our Washington Nationals did not wish to risk any player to waivers--in the cooresponding roster move--to recall Lannan to pitch tomorrow--Chad's shoulder tendinitis made Baseball Operations decision far easier than expected.
But what clearly will be more interesting--are the moves coming later. If Lannan pitches well--who gets send down when "The Chief" returns? And when Wily Mo Pena comes off the DL--what happens then? Also, if Our Manager Manny Acta continues to showcase FLop in left field--what role does Rob Mackowiak have for Our Washington Nationals?
As always occurs on any Major League Roster--the team you see in April, will be different in May--and come late August--expect an entirely different and ever changing roster for Our Washington Nationals.
Finally--One of the finest Ushers at RFK Stadium and now gracing New Nationals Park--"Coach" as he is well known--donned the New Nationals Park Tour Uniform this afternoon. Beginning April 19th--Our Washington Nationals will offer a 90 Minute Tour of New Nationals Park, behind the scenes, up close and personal. The $15 Ticket Price will give fans an inside look at many aspects of the South Capitol Street Ballpark not seen while attending any game. More details coming, very soon.
PS--Many thanks to so many of you that stopprd Sohna and I around the ballpark to say hello. We appreciated the efforts, as always. You thoughts mean a lot to us.