I went to my second game at Nationals Park last night, it was another barn burner. And by that I mean the Nats were in the game for 4 1/2 innings. Actually Redding did alright, and the 3-run 5th that pretty much put the game away was a combination of errors, walks, and dinky little hits that should have never been hits. Then again, depending on Ray King to field grounders is never wise.

  • The crowd was large, and there were a fair number of Mets fans there. Not much more than I expected for a team that plays less than 5 hours away, in a city comprised of transients, to watch a home team that’s been around for less than 4 years. Anyway, the Nats fans were definitely louder, despite plenty of cheering from many many Mets fans. I’d say 75% capacity seemed about right, which isn’t bad at all considering what we’ve seen the first few months.
  • The “O” that is yelled at many area events during the Star Spangled Banner was as inaudible last night as at any local sporting event I’ve been to. Thank god, I find it annoying to mildly offensive to interrupt the singing of the National Anthem, and extremely offensive that it is an Orioles cheer.
  • Nobody sits in them fancy pants seats behind the plate. It’s insane how empty it looks there. The rest of the stadium was actually crowded, but that area was dead. In the 5th inning they should start bringing people from the 400 section down to the premier seats where tickets were never cashed in that day.
  • Sections 237-239, above the home bullpen, were completely empty. There may have literally been 3 or 4 people there, but that’s it. It seems, like much of the stadium, seats that aren’t worth what they’re charging, and people have already figured it out. I’m not gonna get into the prices too much, but they gotta do a better job here.
  • The food lines at the upstairs concourse were incomprehensible. Here is a brief rundown of what I observed when I got close to the place where you order
  1. People behind counter yell “Who’s next?!?!”
  2. Several customers look around not sure if they are next.
  3. Customer who is next actually is on a cell phone discussing with someone that is not present what his order should be, stands in way of everyone else ordering, finally telling them to go around, but still physically standing in the way.
  4. Finally someone orders something.
  5. Person behind counter yells to another employee, who customer has already passed in line, to grab their drink, as customer didn’t realize they were supposed to order the drink there.
  6. Someone else comes up and gets in a verbal altercation with person behind counter about who should be taking orders.
  7. Person behind counter yells to others behind the counter about the impending lack of french fries, others behind the counter respond quickly by staring blankly.
  8. Customer orders food to go with improperly ordered drink.
  9. Customer gets drink and food shuffles 1.5 feet to get on line for cashier #1.
  10. Behind cashier #1, cashier #2 waits with no line, tries in vain to get the attention of customer to come there.
  11. Customer waits until they are next in line for cashier before seeing the open cashier #2.
  12. Author of blog further holds up line by asking everyone to “do it again, so I can write it down this time.”
  • Seriously, they have plenty of people, but some of the food stands aren’t run very well yet.
  • The ramp in the back of the stadium, behind home plate, is a 30 hour ascent to the top level. Take the escalators or the other ramps, I think that one is twice as long.
  • I sat in the 300 level (320 actually) and I think these seats may be one of the better deals in the stadium.
  • I love the scoreboard, and they do lots of great things, but in the 5th inning or so I noticed I couldn’t locate what the batter had done in his earlier ABs that day. I found it a little annoying, as I haven’t kept a scorecard at a baseball game in 15 years.
  • Johan Santana can HIT!
  • It’s hard to win a game where you walk Brian Schneider and then Johan Santana on 9 or 10 pitches.
  • BLastings had plenty hit towards him, and despite some hard hit liners in his vicinity, he seemed to have no problems out there with judging.
  • It took me 50 minutes to get to Bethesda from the Park, which I don’t think is bad at all. Walking up to the metro was scary, it looked like it would take forever. But everything moved relatively quickly and we were outta there way faster than I thought. Really no worse than a commute from 75th and Riverside to 161st and River Ave.
  • Wily Mo hit the ball well, and Guzman continues to make me believe, uh, something.
  • Who was more surprised the Wil Nieves got two hits off of Johan? Me, Johan, or Wil Nieves?
  • I have a serious complaint about the condiment stands. Every time I want onions out of those onion and relish dispensing stations, I have to go to 3 or 4 different stations before I get one that gives me onions. Is the demand for onions so great? Are they rationing onions like rice at Costco? Has my girlfriend somehow called ahead to Nationals Park in order to limit my raw onion intake?
  • Between Tim Redding, Odalis Perez, and John Lannan, this team may have put together the start of an actual rotation. Now if only Shawn Hill could pitch well tonight…

By Charlie