Sunday, June 29, 2008

Never Meant To Be

It was never meant to be this way.

New Nationals Park on display with 8 of 9 Opening Night Starters heading to the Disabled List at some point this season. Tonight Lastings Milledge added to the pain and suffering when he pulled his groin muscle chasing down a liner to left center off the bat of The Baltimore Orioles Alex Cintron in the 3rd inning. I could complain about the quality of Our Players all I want--but when Nick Johnson, Ryan Zimmerman, Austin Kearns, Chad Cordero, Shawn Hill and Milledge all are placed on the DL--Our Washington Nationals are a far worse team.

Sometimes not competitive, like this evening before the largest crowd to ever attend the new South Capitol Street Ballpark.

39,479 posted up to watch The Curly "W" Boys take on The "O's". Unfortunately, this game got out of hand early--thanks to some poor communication defensively by Our Washington Nationals, followed by worse pitching by John Lannan (having just a bad night) and "The Human Rain Delay" who just made sure things got out of hand.

I could complain about Dmitri's Defense. I could complain about Lannan missing a comebacker to the mound. I could complain about Young and Lannan not calling for a simple infield blooper in the key third inning that fell for a crucial hit. I could complain about how Lastings Milledge played the hit ball in which he was eventually injured. I could complain about a Jesus Flores passed ball. I could complain about Luke Scott and Ramon Hernandez hammering Our Number 31 for some well stroked Home Runs. And I could complain about how Our Washington Nationals lost all forward steam once Our Number 44 went down.

But, what good would it do?

You can't blame players or management for injuries--no matter how good or bad you believe those lost starters to be. Someone, most likely Our General Manager Jim Bowden, believed they were Our Best choices. Obviously, from the way Our Washington Nationals are competing right now--there is some truth to it. You can't win without your best--even a team that during pre-season a .500 record would have been considered respectable.

You know it, I know it--at times, Our Washington Nationals are hard to watch--such as this evening when The Orioles crushed Our Team 9-1. No way around it--this game was over early. Washington was not coming back into it.

There is no use speculating over What if Nick This? Or How about Ryan That? or Could "The Chief" Do? It doesn't matter. Our Washington Nationals have been dealt a bad deck of cards in 2008. A Full House of injured players in this Poker Match that has decimated Our Lineup. Six of a Kind is not possible in cards--but Our Washington Nationals have found a new way to bend the rules.

It's sad really. Our Team deserves better. Our Fans deserve better. And New Nationals Park deserves far better for the amount of effort made to put that ballpark together by--The District of Columbia--under the tightest deadline ever projected for a stadium.

Before some of you set off on a tangent. I remind you--many thought Our 2008 Lineup had a lot of potential. Quality talent now lost to the Disabled List. Of course--I am not talking about Wily Mo or FLop--they are unique cases all their own. But clearly--the injuries have decimated Our Lineup. Our Washington Nationals are hurting. And as difficult as they may be to watch at times--The African Queen and I are not giving up. No, we are not.

You can complain about under performing players, roster moves, trades, or the inability to sign player such and such. But, you can't complain about hurt players. Key performers all lost for significant time this season for the team that calls The Nation's Capital it's home. No, you can't. That's just not right.

Our Washington Nationals are a far better team with Nick Johnson, Ryan Zimmerman, Austin Kearns, Chad Cordero, Shawn Hill and now Lastings Milledge all healthy. No question about it. None of those losses are anybody's fault. But it doesn't make watching games like tonight at New Nationals Park any more enjoyable. We miss all those guys.

Because--it was never meant to be like this.

Final Score from Humid, Hot, then Rain Delayed Cool and Comfortable New Nationals Park--The Baltimore Orioles 9 and Our Washington Nationals 1.

Game Notes & Highlights

To many fans great credit--the 39,479 who showed up tonight on South Capitol Street proved that people like baseball and it doesn't matter whether your team is in first place or not. As summer commences, schools are out and many folks turn to baseball for their outdoor enjoyment. This was one terrific crowd--reportedly a larger one coming for the Sunday Finale.

But, The African Queen and I could do without the usual drunken bozos. Mostly Baltimore Fans in this case, who feel it's necessary to be vulgar and shout profanities the more The Orioles built their lead. Like Phillie Fans who have no class--it would nice if Baltimore's Fans would show a little more respect. Sohna and I never berate other team's fans. In fact, we usually engage them in friendly spirited fun. Unfortunately this evening--those fans from Baltimore sitting around us were classless. We did not appreciate their antics.

During the game, Milledge was placed on the 15 Day Disabled list and AA Centerfielder Roger Bernadina was called up from Harrisburg. That roster move was not all. Additionally, Our Washington Nationals announced Collin Balester will be added to The Major League Roster for Tuesday Night's game at Florida. The 22 Year Old Pitcher is a top prospect and has been lights out over his past 10 starts at AAA Columbus.

With not much more to say about tonight's game--the off field antics were quite entertaining.

During the One Hour and Three Minute Rain Delay--most everyone on Club Level retreated to the friendly confines of The Stars & Stripes Club. As the crowd built--My Best Friend!! Screech!! showed up to ham it up, sign autographs and hand out a few Kids Baseball Gloves to a few children. But his best effort of the evening was racing some of the Suite Ushers on the second level. This was funny. Believe it or not--SCREECH!! Won The Race!!

Finally--Tonight was The Grudge Match. The much anticipated Baltimore Oriole Bird versus Teddy in a NON-Sanctioned Middle of The Fourth Inning Race. This challenge by Teddy the result of The Bird tripping up Our Lovable Loser last night at New Nationals Park during The GIECO Presidents Race. This evening, virtually the entire crowd was on their feet waiting for this moment to come. After The Bird & Teddy were introduced--The Oriole Mascot took off--well in front of Our Number 26. But, then Teddy TURNED ON THE HEAT. Running at a pace never seen before--The Rushmore who has never won a Live Presidents Race--streaked across the outfield warning track--toward the right field corner--then pushed on by MIGHTY CHEERS--Teddy handily WON THE PRESIDENTS RACE for the first time IN HISTORY!!

Teddy dropping to his knees in JOY!! This was a victory never before witnessed at RFK STADIUM or New Nationals Park. The standing ovation for Teddy said it all. But not moments later, it was announced by some organization called The Presidents Racing Association of America--they had not sanctioned this race. So, technically--Teddy DID NOT WIN!! Still, it was a GREAT MOMENT. I can't tell you how happy I was to NOT SEE The Baltimore Oriole Bird WIN!!

We couldn't possibly go that low.

Tonight's InGame Photo--(AP) Lawrence Jackson
All Other Photos--Nats320


Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? You are blaming Milledge for his injury?!!! Wow, the kid just can't get a break from you, can he?

Anonymous said...

Maybe Nat's management ought to take a long look at the teams training staff and the methods they use to condition the players. This injury situation is way beyond the norm for any team and has been that way for the past four seasons.

Anonymous said...

Teddy beat the bird! Great run Teddy, you really turned it on.

Just wish Lannon showed his best stuff but still the future is bright for him.

If you haven't seen him yet, you will enjoy Bernadina's defense base stealing. This guy can fly!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget key injuries at the Minor League level with Justin Maxwell and Chris Marrero.

These injuries also create a season of opportunity for many Minor Leaguers who will get a chance to shine mid-season rather than being a September call-up when the stats don't mean as much.

Unfortunately, Orr, Casto, Mock, Sanchez, Langerhans, and Clippard haven't blown anyone away.

Let's hope our friend from Curacao (Roger B.) who is taking Lastings spot and Collin Balester can shine and stay long-term!!!

Anonymous said...

You have to feel sorry for John Lannan. Here is a guy who gets very little run support who looks at the pre-game lineup card only to see Paul Lo Duca (hitting below the Mendoza line) playing LEFT FIELD.

LoDuca is hitting 20 points below our much talked about Wily Mo but I still would want Wily Mo or Willie Harris (who at least is hitting his weight) as my starting LF over LoDuca.

Lannan didn't help himself with his own defense but other players didn't help like Dmitri Young.

Out of the 7 that crossed the plate, only 4 of Lannan's runs were "Earned Runs".

At least our hitters were consistent in front of John L. as we only scored 1 run while he was in there to keep his offensive support record going strong....pathetic...

Can we put our best offensive lineup in place on games where John is pitching so he feels like he has a fighting chance????!!!!

Anonymous said...

I heard no problems with O's fans in the LF mezzanine, just that stupid "O!" crap during the anthem, and the number of them. But, no vulgarity.

They have a long way to go to sink to Phils/Mets' level.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Anonymous at 2:44AM-Exactly what are you reading into what I wrote. Obviously you have no understanding of what I wrote.

Andrew: Yes, Lannan didn't have a good night. The 3rd inning really set the tone for him sadly.

Anonymous said...

I've been hearing a lot about Baltimore fans in this series being supposedly obnoxious at Nationals stadium, and frankly, I just don't believe it. It's just a bitter pill to hear a significant number of opposing fans root for their team in your house.

Personally, I think there ought to be a law against chanting "such-and-such sucks" from the opposing fans in any ball park. Cheering your team is good. Negative smack talk against the hosting team is despicable. But hey, O's fans have to hear it from all the Washingtonian Red Sox and Yankees fans, but that doesn't justify doing it at others' parks.

As for the "O!" cheer, the National Anthem is our song, commemorating our victory by our militia at our fort payed for with our tax dollars under our general... so deal with it. ;)

-googling O's fan

cheesemonkey421 said...

if i were rich enough, I'd buy like 100 seats (group) for a game, and I'd give out as many as I can to Nationals fans ONLY! And if I can't get to enough people, then they seats remain empty because they'd be filled with orioles fans. Ted Lerner (I think) said it was great that there was a rivalry and fans rooting for both sides. I think its pathetic that we let our ballpark be run over by visiting fans!

And it's aboslutely pathetic that fans have that "O" thing in the national anthem. Seriously, when there are no orioles, it makes no sense. Do people get so caught up in the song that they have to say OH! (say does that starred.....)? I even heard it at a capitals game. What? It's not fun to do or hear, it's just annoying: so why?

Also about drunken visiting fans: Why do they have to exist? They always shout the most obnoxious things, and since they're going against the majority, they seem to act as if they do great things (when they really make fools of themselves). Example: Lets say the visiting team hits a homer. The home fans quiet down. Now the visiting fans stand up and bask in the (made-up) "glory." They put their hands in the air and walk up the aisle as if they were arrogant oscar winners.

I couldn't/can't make the games this weekend, but if I could, i'd come dressed to cheer! and thanks to the park's open concourses and friendly staff, I can roam wherever I want to try and start cheers for the nats (Probably in a burger king costume with a nationals jersey over the top :D). I don't usually like negative cheers, but after watching the first two games of the series, we need a "Go Home O's" chant.

Lastly, we need more invaders. Next year, when the Nats go to Baltimore, I'm gonna try to go and I hope other nats fans do too. They invade our stadium (and now they have more of an incentive than before with RFK's oldness), so we invade their's.

Ahhhh, ranting is fun

Jim H said...


I've meant to ask this a couple of times, but since everyone is referring to the O's "O" in the national anthem...

Have you noticed the entertainment operations staff is now flashing a huge "RED" on the out of town scoreboard (perhaps on other ribbon boards) when that word comes up in "rockets RED glare"?

I know there were suggestions of doing that, though I also thought most fans seemed to think it was wrong...and "falling" to the level of the "O" chant.

Interesting. Check it out next time.



Anonymous said...

"I know there were suggestions of doing that, though I also thought most fans seemed to think it was wrong...and "falling" to the level of the "O" chant."

ha! As hard as I try, I cannot pretend the be offended by things that are not offensive. But seriously, Baltimore is allowed to tweak with the Anthem. It's ours. For anybody else, it would be tacky.

-googling "O!"'s fan.

Anonymous said...

Being in the TV Industry, you might know this. You've mentioned you dont watch the rain delay "entertainment" on the HD board, but why can't the Nats show out of town games on the board?

They showed the same stupid highlight reel they showed at the last rain delay, and it was completely inaudible. Aside from the fact that showing an out of town broadcast would open everybody's eyes to how crappy MASN is, why don't they? EVERY other park does.

Screech's Best Friend said...

O's hating Nats Fan: I can't speak for the HDTV scoreboard, because I didn't notice what they were showing last night during the rain delay. But in the Stars & Stripes Club they were showing The Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies game for some time--with a split screen banner saying "due to severe weather, please remain in the concourse area" or something to that effect.

I have to agree with you--showing a game on The HDTV scoreboard during any delay is a no brainer. They always did this at RFK Stadium

JimH--I will check on the "RED", had not noticed it.

Anonymous said...

As for other inquiries - SBF, is any artwork on track to be installed after the ASB?

Also, what the F exactly is that vegetation in the batter's eye? It hasn't changed at all this year. Is normal grass too much to ask for?

Appreciate all the insider events that you share.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Brandon: All the statues and artwork (hanging mobile) have been delayed and will be installed in special ceremonies in 2009 at New Nationals Park. The Washington Hall of Fame is still a work in progress. Nothing substantial has been decided yet. Maybe not before 2010.

The Grass in centerfield. I was told some time ago it's called "mondo" grass. Slow growing, something that will be lush over time--sort of like ivy growing--but slower. The Nationals wanted to put a Curly "W" there. Major League wouldn't allow the "W" in white or red with green grass in the batters eye backdrop.


Anonymous said...

Aren't there enough Curly W's? Between the one behind the plate, on the backstop, the mound... and now on the batter's eye? Thank goodness MLB put a stop to it. It looks tacky. Why can't the baseball field itself be spared from the commercialism and branding?