Friday, August 29, 2008

A History Making Night

Sohna called me tonight in Denver all excited. Our Washington Nationals had SWEPT The Los Angeles Dodgers. "The Guz" had hit for the cycle and Elijah Dukes flatout HAMMERED two home runs at New Nationals Park. An 11-2 pasting of The Dodgers that left her thrilled, excited and downright proud of Washington's Performance of late--just like the experience felt by me this evening at Invesco Field at Mile High.

If you can put the politics and rhetoric aside for the briefest of moments, there was nothing quite like the feeling at The Democratic National Committee Convention tonight at the Home of The Denver Broncos. Over 70,000 People crammed into hear Senator Barack Obama accept his party's nomination to run for The Office Of The President Of The United States. Working the event, we had ringside seats, the straight on view, just behind The Delegates. Stating I was proud to be there--may well be an understatement. Because, just like The New Ballyard on South Capitol Street, The Broncos Home Field at Bryant & 19th was absolutely ROCKING this evening!! And as much as I miss Our Washington Nationals, I don't think I will ever forget August 28th, 2008.

No Way. Not Possible.

What A Program!! What A Performance!!

From Jennifer Hudson singing The National Anthem to Cheryl Crow & Stevie Wonder bellowing out some great stuff. And of course, the appearance of Barack Obama to officially accept his party's nomination. A downright thrilling moment to watch--in person. An extravaganza, with not only confetting and steamers--but fireworks sharply glowing into the dark but jubilant night. This party was special. Something not ever before seen in Our Great Country.

Our Washington Nationals made some baseball history of their own tonight in winning Curly "W" Number 49. Cristian Guzman hitting for the cycle. Only the second player to do so for Washington since baseball returned to The Nation's Capital. Our Number 34's second home run of the evening was The 500th in The Team History Of Our Washington Nationals. All on the very evening The United States Of America recorded some fresh history of its own. A Moment In Time some thought The Land of The Free & The Home Of The Brave, Might Never See.

The Bang!! Zoom!! Of The Fireworks!! memorable in The Nation's Capital tonight--not only for the play on the field by Our Washington Nationals, but for A Contender for The Office Of The President Of The United States. One of two men who may well be living at 1600 Pennsylvannia Avenue come January 20th, 2009. Everyone knows, A New President is coming. But, no one knows for sure who that person may be. But whoever takes that oath of office early next year, better be committing to throwing out The First Pitch at every single Home Opener for Our Washington Nationals until the year--2012.

Nothing else would be deemed satisfactory--by me.

August 28th, 2008 was A History Making Night. 45 Years to the exact day since Dr. Martin Luther King gave his infamous "I Had A Dream" Speech at the steps of The Lincoln Memorial.

This Day Never To Be Forgotten, just like Dr. King's, those many years ago. And yes, I was Proud and Honored To Be Here in Denver--watching and experiencing this entire event--Live!! No, nothing quite like it in my entire lifetime--to date.

PS--Short Turnaround. We did not return from Invesco Field until after Midnight and have to be up at 4AM for more work. Hopefully, the excitement of the evening will keep me awake a few hours from now.

Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Luis M. Alvarez
DNCC Photos--Nats320 (All Rights Reserved)


Anonymous said...

SBF, you know there were a lot more Washingtonians watching that convention than watching the Nationals, which is why we miss your detailed updates even more this week. It's a shame this sweep of the Dodgers was viewed by so few fans. But wow -- what a thrill for you to be there this week! A history making night indeed.

Anonymous said...

PS - With Zimmerman and Dukes back in the lineup, perhaps we're looking at another home stretch where the Nats mess up everybody elses's playoff plans.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like the show in Denver was spectacular -- perhaps more like the Olympics Opening Ceremonies than a typical convention speech. I caught the start of the speech on my radio while riding Nats Express and arrived home to see the closing of the speech on HD. It looked great.

But I was so glad I went to see the Nats game last night. One of the best games ever for this team at the new park. Being there to see Guzman hit for the cycle and cheering him on as he ran to third base for his triple. Awesome! And Elijah Dukes' two mammoth home runs. Wow! That second one was hit so hard I though it might clear the left filed stands!

I sat in Section 127, where "Coach" is the usher. What a great guy. I was hoping to see him lead us in "Sweet Caroline" last night, but although the night was sweet, the song was not played. Surprisingly, on a Redskins Game Night and the Obama speech, The crowd was 26,000, which was 5,000 more than the night before.

Great seats. I do wish the Nats would give up some advertising space on the ribbon message boards to put scoreboard info on both ends of the boards. I kept looking to left field thinking I would see a scoreboard. Maybe all those years of going to Candlestick Park and staring at the left field scoreboard has me trained to look left!

Anonymous said...

I'm jealous!

Anonymous said...

The best thing about the last three games, besides winning them, was that despite the low attendance, the fans that were there were the true baseball fans. They knew and appreciated the game. Cheered appropriately, followed the moments. It's been great at the Park!

Anonymous said...

Guuuz! I'm so happy for him, especially after he'd been the target of so much ire and so many boos (never from me but from plenty of other fans) over the years as a Nat. Just wish that I could have seen it in person...

Anonymous said...

People still care about the Nationals?

Keith said...

Obama has long declared himself a White Sox fan. Since it is against the laws f physics to be a Sox fan AND a Cubbies fan, he could easily adopt DC as his NL team.

I guess we have to assume McCain is a Diamondbacks fan, although I can't find anywhere that's he's declared that. I Googled "John McCain Baseball Fan" and got back that he was in a POW camp for 5 1/2 years.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The best thing about the last three games, besides winning them, was that despite the low attendance, the fans that were there were the true baseball fans. They knew and appreciated the game. Cheered appropriately, followed the moments. It's been great at the Park!

I think that is a fair assessment---but the park starts clearing out in the 7th inning. AQ and I were having that discussion and my estimation was you have a mixture each game of 5,000 to 10,000 passionate baseball/Nats fans, 10,000 fans that are there as casual observers and then depending on which team is playing you may have 5,000 to 15,000 rooting for the visiting team.

I saw a lot of Dodger blue on Wednesday's nailbiter and couldn't believe in a 5-4 game that the stadium would start emptying out between the 7th and 8th innings.

This was the best series of the year in my opinion based on the play on the field and on Wednesday and Thursday we got most of the close calls and almost all of the right bounces. said...
PS - With Zimmerman and Dukes back in the lineup, perhaps we're looking at another home stretch where the Nats mess up everybody elses's playoff plans.

I second that!!! The goal should be to finish strong and end up with double digits in the total loss column at the end of September 28, 2008!!! We have 28 games remaining and have to play exactly .500 baseball to assure 63 wins.

Also to note, all remaining games except 1 Home series in Sept vs. Padres are all NL East opponents so it "ain't" going to be easy!!!

Lastly, congrats to Lannan, Guzy and E.D. I made my prediction on Wednesday to the AQ that Elijah Dukes (aka E.D. and Mr. Dukes) would be the star of this team next year and we saw his power display yesterday and his gun in rightfield on Wednesday. He needs to come out of Spring Training in top shape and stick to a good conditioning schedule during the season.

With Kearns out this looks like our most interesting lineup in the outfield. This current outfield is producing big power E.D., Milledge and of course Wille "Mays" Harris. We really need a first baseman!!!!

An Briosca Mor said...

I guess we have to assume McCain is a Diamondbacks fan

McCain would have to have at least as many home teams as he has homes, wouldn't he?

Anonymous said...

Oh look how very important and special SBF is! We are so blessed that he bestows upon us those pictures of him mugging at the convention - cuz really it IS all about him ----we will treasure them always. And here I thought this was baseball forum. YOU ARE THE BEST JOURNALIST EVER!!

Anonymous said...

He's not a journalist. What are you anon?

I'm not sure why you visit. You seem bitter.

Anonymous said...

I saw Sens. McCain and Biden at RFK watching the Nats and the Dbacks in '06. They were sitting together near the visitors dugout along 1st base. That makes me believe that he's a Dbacks fan. I'll bet Biden likes the Phillies. Doesn't matter to me, as long as Big Mac or Mighty O throw out the first ball every year.

Anonymous said...

McCain was at the home opener back in 2005 against Arizona, and he wore a Diamondbacks hat that night, so I'm pretty sure that's his team. Nothing wrong with that, of course, as it's his home state. As for SBF sharing his experiences at the convention, I'm envious that he had that opportunity, and I'm happy that he was able to share it with us. And I say this as someone who has very little respect for Obama and no intention of voting for him.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the pix and thoughts about a truly historic and wonderful moment for the United States of America. I have not made a decision about which candidate to vote for, but am thrilled that, with McCain's VP choice today, history will be made either way.

The game last night was fantastic! One of the best since baseball returned to D.C.!

On people leaving -- I don't think more people leave than any other park watching a non-playoff contender play in its home park (except Sundays when there's more kids at the park). The way the ballpark is built, you see everyone leaving at once. I've been to many other parks and there's not one exit to see everyone leave. People are so quick to criticize Nats fans, I don't know where all the bitterness comes from. Who are we threatening?

On another note -- it's clear that we fans cannot depend on the media nor the team to get baseball to truly catch on here - winning will help, but, until then, it falls to us fans, if we want baseball to stay here and thrive, to talk up the team, invite friends to the game and the beautiful park, get our places of employment and youth teams and scout groups and neighborhoods to take group outings to the park.

It's going to take grassroots evangelizing to get people to see what a great game baseball is and how relaxing and fun a day at Nationals Park is. It's up to us, Nats fans. The Lerners aren't going to do it, Stan Kasten's not going to do it, the Washington/Baltimore Post, burying the team's great sweep in the bowels of the sports page sure isn't going to do it, the national media - full of New Yorkers, Chicagoans, and Baltimoreans won't do it. Only us. Take folks to a game. Ask them to listen to Charlie and Dave on the radio and watch MASN with the sound down. If we love baseball and want it to be anything more than a small market, perennially losing venture, we have to act. It shouldn't be this way, but it is. It's up to us to make sure baseball in Washington works this time around.

Anonymous said...

Steve - I like your thoughts and agree with almost everything you have said, but I have traveled to many other ballparks which included Philly on the last road trip and it was a packed house until the end and I have made trips to NY and Chicago too and the same is true. I did see the stand up and leave in the 8th inning when I was at Camden Yards in interleague so maybe you are right with teams with losing records.

My surprise is how can you leave early in a 5-4 game with the Nats winning against the Dodgers????

Here is one of our biggest problems if you watch on MASN. The President's seats are very sparse as you see many empty blue seating 5 rows deep on the MASN screen. Then MASN showed many times in the losing streak camera shots of people leaving during the 7th inning through the CF gates which doesn't help the perception.

I've done my part. I personally own over 30 seats in the stadium and fill them up on most nights.

Winning makes it a much better fan experience!!!!

Where I do disagree is that the "brass" can be doing more to make the fan experience better.

That's not being negative, but I have made a huge investment in the Nats and believe in continual improvement on & off the field.

This isn't the first time I have been a substantial season ticket holder and there is a reason I no longer have tickets with the Orioles.

Anonymous said...

Andrew - 30 seats! That's incredible! Thank you for such generous support of baseball in the Nation's Capital!

I'm with you about leaving - I love baseball so much I stay to the last out -- win or lose -- but I think you're right -- if the team is in a pennant race, the fans will stay. It seems most everyone did in 2005 when our Nats were in the race!

Anonymous said...

Guys, the rid the Nats of their ugly losing perception, they need to WIN, WIN, WIN.

Andrew, you should be applauded for your team spirit and financial commitment to the organization, but the fans should demand a much better product than what's seen on the field this year in 2009.

The Nationals are 35 GAMES below .500, and because of that, the media doesn't find them compelling in the least. Until this team plays meaningful September baseball again, why should anyone really care besides the hardcore fans who frequent this blog?

Edward J. Cunningham said...

One more thing about the Post...

It's infuriating that they continue to insist on posting the American League scores to the left of the National League. No other paper in a National League team's city does this. I'll bet no paper in a two-team city or region where the National League is considered the main team does this.

Do the sports editors of the Washington Post---despite their official lip service supporting Washington baseball---truly believe this isn't a slight to the home team? Or do they think that there are more Orioles, Red Sox, and Yankee fans among their readers' base than Nats' fans?

P.S. As far as leaving early goes, I don't know about the rest of you, but I wake up at 4:30 AM and have to report to work at 7:00 AM. So whether the Nats are up by 10 or not, I'm going to be leaving after nine so I can get home by Metro and get a good night's sleep.

Anonymous said...

Performance was a good word to describe the DNC. Obama is symbolism over substance do not be fooled SBF!!!