Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wash Out

No more "Lets Go Zimmy!!" will be heard. Or, "Come On Last Child!!" Sohna's shout for Lastings Milledge. At least at New Nationals Park for the remainder of 2008. Sadly, the rains moved into the Washington, DC area this afternoon and would not go away. The result, A WASHOUT. The Final Home Game Scheduled at New Nationals Park cancelled. Game Number 159 of this season will not be made up.

For nearly two hours this affair between The Florida Marlins and Our Washington Nationals was in an Official Rain Delay. But most everyone on hand, which could have only numbered a few thousand anyway, surely understood this game would never be played. And there was really no reason to under the circumstances.

Too bad, because The African Queen and I really wanted to just see one more home baseball game featuring Our Team. We enjoy watching every game--no matter the outcome. And I would imagine most everyone else that made the effort to show up--really wanted to see one final ballgame also. Instead, Sohna and I spent most of the evening moving around the ballpark saying goodbyes and thanks to many of our friends--until Final Word came at 9:18 PM.

Washington will play no further games on South Capitol Street in calendar year 2008.

Our Washington Nationals will simply finish this season on the road in Philadelphia. A three game series in which The African Queen and I are expecting to make the middle game of the set. The 3:55PM Start on Saturday. We just want to see one other game. Hopefully, some other Fans of Our Team will make the short journey themselves to Citizens Bank Park to cheer on Our Nats with us that day. Sohna and I know of a handful of fans that are definitely attending Sunday's Final Game.

When tonight's game was officially cancelled, Our Manager Manny Acta, along with most of his coaching staff and active roster, headed out to the field, just in front of Washington's First Base Dugout. On site, Manny gave a brief thank you to the wet group of fans still standing behind the Dugout. Then, most every player and coach threw T-Shirts to the rain soaked gathering. Willie Harris even tossed his cap into the crowd.

Additionally, Our Washington Nationals announced the policy for ticket exchange/credit for Game Number 81 of the 2008 Home Schedule.

With tonight being final scheduled home game of the 2008 season, the following are ticket details as it pertains to tonight’s cancellation:

Season Ticket Holders: The value of your season ticket(s) and applicable season parking pass(es) for this game will be credited to your Nationals season ticket account and will be applied towards the cost of your 2009 season tickets.

Individual Ticket Buyers: Fans who purchased individual tickets and/or parking pass(es) in advance for this game may redeem their tickets for the same price or lesser value tickets for any Monday – Thursday non-premium game during the 2009 regular season, based on availability. Fans must present the September 25, 2008 game ticket at the time of redemption. Individual parking passes may be presented at the same parking lot for the game in 2009 that you choose to attend.

Group Ticket Buyers: Fans who are in possession of group tickets (i.e. 25 or more tickets purchased through the Nationals Group Sales Department),may redeem their tickets for the same price or lesser value tickets for any Monday – Thursday non-premium game during the 2009 regular season, based on availability. For further information regarding your group ticket purchase for September 25, 2008, please contact your Group Leader or your Washington Nationals Group Sales Representative at 202-675-6287, Option 1.

Complimentary Season Ticket Exchange Tickets: Season ticket holders who are in possession of tickets for the September 25, 2008 game, that had been exchanged as part of our Unused Ticket Exchange Program, may redeem their tickets for Upper Gallery Level or Upper Right Field Terrace seats for any Monday – Thursday non-premium game in the 2009 regular season, based on availability.

Complimentary Tickets: Complimentary tickets that are not part of the Season Ticket Holder Exchange program have no value and may not be redeemed for a game in the 2009 regular or post season. Raincheck redemption will begin when individual game tickets go on sale for the 2009 Nationals season (late February/early March).

Tonight's InGame Photos--(AP) Nick Wass


Anonymous said...

As much as I admire the positivity of the blog, this much is certain -- this team is not good at all, and a lot has to be to win me back as a paying customer.

For everything that has gone right -- it seems like more has gone wrong, not only on the field, but also in terms how the fans are treated.

It's a shame how baseball has gone so far this season in the region, and how something so promising has gone bad.

If Stan or even the Lerners read this blog, things had better change for the good of baseball in the region, and your fans need to be appreciated, or expect to park to be half filled most of the time.

Anonymous said...

The season was horrible, but the actions by the ownership group and its executives have been disgusting.

The moment they disrepected Frank Robinson was the moment that shit rolled down hill. The Lerners suck and so do the executives that have no balls to upfront with the so-called fan base.

Goodbye Nationals.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 8:43AM - What do you mean by "so-called fan base?" The Nats definitely have some very dedicated fans! I have only missed a couple of home games this year and also traveled on the road to see them. I see the same groups of people at the events and games and those are the loyal fans and not a "so-called fan base."

Anonymous said...

Anon at 8:43. Trust me, Frank Robinson would not lose an ounce of sleep if you or I got laid off from our jobs. It happens every day in America and usually the employee complains that he was screwed by the man. The way the media protrayed the Frank Robinson end to an era, it didn't look like Frank was treated with the respect that a man like him deserved, but that is the protrayal and none of us were in the meetings.

Many of us were sad to see Frank go and it happens, and as many say, It's a Business. That never seems to sit well with fans that believe in the purity of the game.

Personally, I think they should retire his jersey number not that he was the greatest manager in the organization but a great gesture to a great man and since many of us were Orioles fans previously, I would like to see it.

The bigger issues to me going forward is why should I pony up for season tickets since the benefits are practically non-existent. A day on the field with long lines is not enough for me to buy season tickets vs. buying the games at the box office or StubHub that I want to attend.

It has to be about the fans not about the businesses that buy for their clients that are not part of the true fanbase but are part of the economics that are needed to make a franchise work. I get it, but I don't like it. I wonder what the team is going to do to make the fan experience better. Why do we have to wait for our 1 season ticket perk to be done at the end of the season? There should be perks throughout the season and I'm not talking about TShirt Tuesdays or Bobblehead day.

Lastly, and the same old story, put a team on the field that is the best you can do. I understand the "plan" but sometimes the "plan" needs some revisions. Stop going after reclamation projects like LoDuca and Estrada, etc and spend the money on 1 impact player like Alfonso Soriano. Overpaying for quality happens, but overpaying for quantity (LoDuca, Estrada, Machowiak, Perez, Pena, etc.) has not helped this team.

Unhappy ballplayers and unhappy employees lead to unhappy customers. That should be somewhere in the books on Customer Service.

Anonymous said...

The whole season has been a washout. To add insult to injury, the game last night, most likely a loss, will probably cost the Nationals the first pick in the draft. (The Mariners are even better at losing games.) I hope the Lerners wake up when they see their season ticket sales diminish by 30% or more.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:29--There is no earthly reason to renew season tickets. As you said, just buy tickets for the games you want to attend at the box office. You will have your choice of seats. Watch the rest of the games on your flat screen tv in HD. You will be much kinder to your wallet and avoid a lot of frustration.

Anonymous said...

On another topic, has anyone noticed that Felipe Lopez is batting .365 with the Cardinals while playing on regular basis, as opposed to his .235 average here? Somebody in this organization ought to be asking the question--why was this guy so unhappy and frustrated for nearly two seasons with the Nationals? He clearly has more talent than he exhibited with the Nationals. Who or what caused him to be so pathetic here?

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:33. Here's my take on it. Season ticket sales won't drop 30% because 80% of season tickets are owned by large corporations that need the tickets for their customers.

Now I could see 30% of the 20% of the total season ticket base dropping off which would mean a 6% overall drop.

Also note, the corporations didn't seem to be enthusiastically buying those $300 Presidents seats either as you can go 1 section toward the dugout and pay $65 per seat *times* 4 and get a 4 seat plan at $260 per game which is less than the cost of 1 Presidential seat and have as good as a view. There is the economics to any customer.

The way to save the dropoff would be a dramatic off-season signing and a great season ticket perk package that makes it so tempting that you wouldn't want to not own the season tickets.

An Briosca Mor said...

The bigger issues to me going forward is why should I pony up for season tickets since the benefits are practically non-existent. A day on the field with long lines is not enough for me to buy season tickets vs. buying the games at the box office or StubHub that I want to attend.

You buy season tickets because the per-game cost of your ticket is considerably lower than single game prices. That is the season ticket holder benefit, right there. Anything else is just gravy. Are you going to send back a well-prepared and tasty plate of restaurant food because they forgot to put the sprig of parsley on there to make the plate look pretty? If so, then I guess you're the type of person who complains about non-existent STH "benefits". Maybe season tickets just aren't for you, then.

Looking ahead to next year, count up the number of games you plan to go to, and look at how much money you'd save by buying those tickets at the season-ticket price instead of the game day price. There's your benefit, and if it's not good enough for you, then don't buy the season tickets. By the same token, though, don't count on easy availability of cheap tickets on StubHub next year. Those tickets are being sold by other season ticket holders who, if they follow through on their threats, won't be renewing for next year either. If there are any games next year you really, really want to attend, expect to pay boxoffice prices or more for your tickets.

Anonymous said...


"Season ticket sales won't drop 30% because 80% of season tickets are owned by large corporations that need the tickets for their customers."

Obviously, you don't think these large corporations won't cut back on spending on tickets they can't give away in an economy that grows worse by the day. I think they will.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the insights and the info we just don't normally get from other sources.

I'm glad I had the opportunity to spend a couple of innings with you and AQ at Wednesday night's game. Hope you and AQ have a good pre-Spring Training.

FYI, I saw a close clone of the cc app Nats bag (same size, but without the Nats Park logo and the gold trim) at Nash's Sports in L'Enfant Plaza. You may want to check it out.

Anonymous said...

Felipe Lopez was once an All Star and like Austin Kearns has the ability to play better and there was a real good reason the Reds let them go in that package deal.

Part of his new found success is having a lineup to shine in but more of it is attitude and effort.

Batting before Albert Pujols and Ludwick is a big boost. Thats why one player can make a difference.

Felipe seems to be hustling more there but still has made some bad fielding mistakes and running mistakes.

Felipe's attitude seemed to be I will play when I want to play when he was in DC, and that doesn't cut it in Tony LaRussa's dugout.

Anonymous said...


Great to see you and the African Queen last night, too bad we didn't have one last home game. I don't know if the rain out was a statement on the Nats season because even though we lost far too many games this year Lexi and I enjoyed seeing the team change and take a shape that will lead us into next year. I hope management goes out and gets that big left-handed bat! We also love the evolution of Nationals Park. If you look at the overall life expectancy of a ballpark I don't think six months is enough time to iron out all the problems. Those folks who base their ticket decisions and spew ridicule on six months out of a 40-80 year life span of a Major League park are shortsighted at best. We know so much more now than that first day we walked through the centerfield gate to see the Nats take on the O's in exhibition here. All the shortcuts, the best views, where the shortest lines are, the best beer locations, and were to find the best food values. I suspect that the Nationals Park experience will be measurably better as each year goes on and Nationals Park becomes that comfy old lounge chair you love to sit in. We look forward to seeing you and the African Queen next season!

Take me out to the Ballgame!


Anonymous said...

"Felipe's attitude seemed to be I will play when I want to play when he was in DC, and that doesn't cut it in Tony LaRussa's dugout."

Exactly.....this is why Acta must share blame for the mess this team is in. Acta is not a leader, unless you are after the top pick and then you have you man.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to you and The African Queen for your excellent coverage and your passion for the team and for this blog! While the media can cover what happens in the game, it is good to see what the atmosphere of the game is like. Good work and hope to see you in 2009!

Keith said...

Dear SBF and TAQ,

Thanks for all your writing and dedication this year. Your coverage is often better than WaPo or any other main stream media. Nobody I know writes more for no pay than you two ... except maybe "Anonymous". BTW, don't worry about the Haters in this comment section. It takes a community to build a barn, but any moron can burn one down. See you in '09.


Anonymous said...

Thanks SBF and friends. I enjoyed the posts and comments. See you next year.

Anonymous said...

SBF you are full of it! This team may be the worst team ever in Washington history. This manager might be the least passionate in Washington history. It is people like you who wil prevent the Lerners from learning their lesson by people not renewing their season tickets. fire Stan, fire manny, fire Jimbo it doesn;t matter then Nats owners don;t understand baseball

Anonymous said...

Absolutely right. The Nats are a joke due to the cheap Lerners and poor management. Five years from now the team will be in Raleigh or Charlotte to remain in the NL East.

Too many people drank the kool-aid around this area and now look at the situation.

The loss of many ticket holders will send a message to react. The real question is what type of off season decisions will be made. More goofy details of THE PLAN.

Keep on drinkin more Kool-Aid. This season ticket holder is getting off this train wreck.

I think SBF website has been very informative and I like him. But time to stop the Plan talk and more Kool-Aid drinks.

paul said...

This was an amazingly quick group of posts to read since only a few were eponymous.

SBF, thanks again for a great virtual year, especially virtual since I never got to see you! Maybe we'll meet up at a hot stove event.

I also forgot to mention yesterday that our benefactor for most of our tickets was the Community Relations Office of the Nats. SBF, thanks for turning us on to Ms. Silva and her associates. They do good work.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Five years from now the team will be in Raleigh or Charlotte to remain in the NL East.

Annie, part of the agreement with MLB over the stadium was that Washington would be guaranteed a team for the next 30 years. There is no guarantee that that team will be good---but it will be here.

But you would be complaining if the Nats were in first place, would you? Because you are one of many people who want to destroy baseball in Washington and undermine all support for it.

That's why you come on this blog and personally attack both SBF and TAQ---because SBF's posts give a little hope in a dreary season, and you can't stand it. Well, here's a news flash for you---the Nats, SBF, TAQ, and I will be back in 2009. I intend to renew my season tickets and there's nothing you can do about it.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

SBF, thanks for a wonderful season. I look forward to reading your comments on the postseason as well as the hot stove league. Sorry that I only got the chance to meet you and TAQ once this season, but hopefully we'll meet again next summer at Nationals Park.