Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quick Thoughts On The Tentative 2009 Schedule

Looking through the tentative 2009 Schedule for Our Washington Nationals released today by Major League Baseball.

Home Opening Day (or the lack their of), Last Game of The Season and Major Holiday's stand out.

Like virtually none of these set dates shown will include a Home Game on South Capitol Street.

Opening Day at The Florida Marlins.

So why No Last Game of the Season at Nationals Park? Instead, finishing the season at Turner Field in Atlanta.

No Memorial Day--At Citi Field in Queens.

No Mother's Day--in Phoenix at Chase Field.

Father's Day--Finally a WINNER!! At Home Versus The Toronto Blue Jays.

July 4th!!--WINNER!! At Home to celebrate America's Birthday (rightfully so) versus The Atlanta Braves.

Labor Day--September 7th--NO SCHEDULED GAME!!!?? Say What?

Very odd if you ask me, which MLB obviously didn't. But Opening Day, Memorial Day and July 4th are NO BRAINERS for home games in The Nation's Capital. Major League Baseball can come up with whatever excuses they wish to claim by saying they are attempting to be fair to all 30 teams. But, why should they?

Washington, DC deserves To HOST Major League Baseball featuring Our Washington Nationals on all three of those dates. Every single year--without a a doubt.

Come on Major League Baseball--show some backbone and good will toward Our Nation's Capital. Reschedule those dates to DC for Our Washington Nationals. Nothing else is acceptable.

PS--Other notes about the schedule.

Red Sox Nation will invade South Capitol Street during a mid-week series, June 23, 24, & 25. If MLB schedules those games at 2AM each morning--they are still going to sell out.

Washington takes it first swings at New Yankee Stadium in The Bronx one week before The Red Sox come to DC. Three mid-week dates set for June 16, 17, & 18.

Sohna and I always appreciate when Washington plays at Gorgeous PNC Park on a weekend. That's again the case in 2009. July 31st, August 1st and August 2nd. Bet on it, we will be there.

Just like at Camden Yards for The Baltimore Orioles weekend series directly following Boston's Visit to Nationals Park. June 26, 27 & 28. The AngelO's coming to Washington for three game set beginning May 22nd.

Cubbies coming in for four games--over an extended weekend beginning July 16th. That series is going to draw huge. Between The Chicago Cubs and Red Sox seven games--there is a distinct possibility all those games will sell out. A capacity crowd which I believe was only reached on Opening Night and when The Orioles came to Washington this past June.

Oddly--just like this year with The San Diego Padres, The Los Angeles Dodgers will come to Nationals Park during the last weekend of the 2009 home schedule. Very strange, considering the impact late games can have within your own division for playoff positioning at that time. You would think teams would rather control their own destiny. Control which an NL East and NL West team have less of--playing 3000 miles away from home in the season's final days.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you about Memorial Day and 4th of July weekends - there should always be home games during those weekends in DC.

You seem to appreciate tradition. Opening Day should go back to tradition though and only the Reds should play on opening day. The Cincinnati Red Stockings are the very first MLB team in 1869 and used to have the privilege of always being the opening day game. Things changed 8 years ago when the Mets and Cubs opened the season in Tokyo.

Per Furman Bisher - "About Cincinnati and its dibs on opening day, that went on for years. Then the major leagues expanded from coast to coast, cramping the schedule. Television came in spreading money around like fertilizer, and things began to change. The Reds no longer had a monopoly on opening day. So they were allowed to throw the first pitch before anybody else. That privilege is gone now, but one priority remains — the Reds are always allowed to open the season at home. So much for tradition."

Anonymous said...

Here is another link about Opening Day that is interesting.

WFY said...

Agreed on the holidays, I've been complaining on my blog too.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

I suspect that 4th of July,Opening Day, and Memorial Day are going to be alternated with the Orioles. Funny thing is that before the Nats came to town, the Orioles NEVER played at home on the 4th of July. Only NOW do the Orioles (apparently) insist on playing the 4th every other year...

Edward J. Cunningham said...

The Orioles deserve my apology. They ALSO open on the road.

Anonymous said...

SBF said...Father's Day--Finally a WINNER!! At Home Versus The Toronto Blue Jays.

Nice. They got the Cardinals in the Spring but on a weekend which should do better than during the week.

Chicago being during the summer vs. Springtime this season should sellout.

Boston should get record crowds.

I plan on traveling to see our Nats vs. Yankees in NYC.

Anonymous said...

I see the Cardinals are actually a 4 game Thurs thru Sunday series.

Anonymous said...

Well at least every Nats fan can sell their tickets at 10X face value when the Red Sox come to town!

VP81955 said...

It's not that big a deal not playing on Memorial Day or Labor Day anymore. Over the past few decades, people increasingly use those holidays as extended weekends to leave town. (Things were a bit different when Memorial Day was always on May 30.) Note the NFL no longer plays on Labor Day weekend -- in fact, it tries to finish the exhibition schedule (no "preseason" euphemism for me!) the Friday before the holiday.

BTW, if the clowns running the Nats are still playing that godawful "Sweet Caroline" during visiting pitching changes when the Red Sox come to town, they are going be the laughingstock of MLB.

Then again, so what else is new?

Anonymous said...

Another big problem with this schedule -- the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) National Convention is going to be held in Washington, D.C. July 30 - August 2. Potentially 1,000 baseball fanatics in town and the Nationals are on the ROAD? That's 1,000 opportunities to expose Nationals Park to baseball's biggest fans and evangelists -- from all over the nation -- lost. Instead, those folks will be trucking up to Camden Yards.

SBF, if you do have a chance to talk to Stan Kasten, perhaps he can work his magic to have at least ONE home game during the Convention. It's a huge missed opportunity if the schedule stays as is. What a shame!

By the way, I agree with you on the holidays -- that's the perfect time for the National Pastime in the Nation's Capital.

They also should make sure the Nats play at home on Sept. 11.

I'm looking forward to the Boston series. Those fans are rabid, but usually baseball smart and respect good play. Hopefully, we in DC have a stronger team in 2009 to take them on!

Anonymous said...

Steve - Maybe SABR could change its convention schedule?

Unknown said...

Look, I'm a Nats fan now, but we have no right to claim automatic home games on national holidays. Doing so smells of big-time, inside-the-Beltway, we're-more-important-than-everyone-else arrogance.

I grew up a Texas Rangers fan. The 4th of July is celebrated there as well, if you can imagine that, and games played on the 4th are always sellouts which are much looked forward to.

But I guess Rangers fans, and fans off all other teams save the Jays, have less of a right to celebrate their national holiday at a baseball game than do fans of the Nats?

Give me a break.

WFY said...

k: This is the nation's capital. We should get July 4 home games annually. So should Philadelphia, where the nation was founded, the Yankees because of their name and Boston because of its importance in the Revolution. We should always get Opening Day too so that the president can throw out the first pitch.

Baltimore should always get Labor Day at home though, along with other blue collar cities like Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, etc.

Unknown said...

You right wfy, cities in major East Coast media markets take priority over cities in flyover states for enjoying the right to celebrate the nation's birthday with a baseball game. How silly of me.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for this schedule which opens in April instead of March. Opening Day in Washington this year was ridiculously cold. I haven't looked at the entire MLB schedule, but I hope they have put the first week of games in Florida, California, Arizona, Texas, and Atlanta, and the dome in Minneapolis. No teams in the Northeast or open air midwest stadium teams should be hosting games in the first week of April.

The Fourth of July game could actually be a bit of a problem because of the huge celebration that takes place on the Mall which always results in packed Metro trains. However, I would love it if they scheduled a twilight game that would end around 8:00 so we could head from the game to the Mall.

Anonymous said...


Your points make sense - but it's not Beltway Insiderism, but a sense of history that prompts the request -- this is the Nation's Capital, for all United States citizens. Baseball in DC on those days is to honor the nation, not favor the Nationals. But, as you say, these holidays are nation-wide.

The Presidential Opener is, however, a longstanding baseball tradition that ended only when the Senators moved to Texas in 1971. Having the President of the United States throw the first pitch connected the nation to the national pastime. I think it would be neat if baseball revived the tradition, not to favor the Nats, but to get folks interested in its history and revive some interest, both here in DC and all over the U.S.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

I have to side a bit with "K" on this issue. Would it be nice to celebrate the 4th of July at home every year? Sure, but so would 28 other teams. (The 29th--for obvious reasons---prefers July 1st, as did this franchise once.) If the Orioles want to celebrate it, then so be it, but we should get it every other year. (And in the off-years where the Nats are away, there's no reason why the Nats STILL can't open up the stadium anyway and show the game's broadcast on the HDTV scoreboard.)

As far as the Presidential Opener, I think that is gone as throwing out the ball from behind the dugout. Next year, either President Obama will throw out the first pitch at U.S. Cellular Field (The White Sox are opening at home and Senator Obama is from the South Side) or President McCain will throw out the first pitch at Chase Field in Phoenix.

BTW, I have to give a hand to major league baseball for realizing that April 1st is too cold to play in many northern cities. If the weather is more seasonable on the 13th, then I don't mind waiting.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Although I strongly suspect they will throw out the first pitch somewhere else on April 6th (maybe even on April 5th for the ESPN opener), don't be surprised if the 44th POTUS throws out the first pitch at Nats Park on April 13th.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

The Orioles deserve my apology. They ALSO open on the road.

I take back my apology. They open at home against the Yankees. (THAT should fill the seats on Opening Day, Peter!) If Obama or McCain throws out the first pitch there I'm gonna puke...