Thursday, December 30, 2010

Results (yours and mine)

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the "Best (and other) Moments of 2010" poll yesterday. You all gave some fantastic answers and insight into why you chose the moments you did. Plus, a bunch of you made me laugh with your wickedly funny answers.

I've pored through all the answers, and I think I've come up with the consensus selections. So here's what the readership picked for each moment, along with my own personal choice in each category...

BEST MOMENT OF 2010
Readers pick: Stephen Strasburg's debut
My pick: Stephen Strasburg's debut
This one was no contest. The electricity in the ballpark that night was second-to-none. The press box was packed beyond capacity. The entire baseball world was watching on TV. And then the kid not only lived up to the hype but exceeded it by a factor of 10.

WORST MOMENT OF 2010
Readers pick: Opening Day
My pick: Opening Day
It was a neck-and-neck race between the Opening Day fiasco against the Phillies and Stephen Strasburg's injury, but Opening Day barely won out. It was bad enough that the Nationals laid an egg in the game. That it happened in front of a huge pro-Philly crowd that came down I-95 on chartered buses and prevented actual D.C. fans from buying tickets turned this into a moment no one around here will soon forget.

FUNNIEST MOMENT OF 2010
Readers pick: The Miss Iowa saga
My pick: The Miss Iowa saga
Guess we really do think alike in most cases. The moment Miguel Batista said, "Imagine if you go to see Miss Universe, then you end up having Miss Iowa, you might get those kind of boos," I knew he had just uttered the quote of the year. I didn't know, though, that it would get picked up by every news outlet in the country, that Katherine Connors would respond and that a couple of days later she'd be throwing out the first pitch at Nationals Park. Comedy gold, the entire saga. So this gets my vote as well, though there were a few hysterical moments from inside the clubhouse or press box that would also get my consideration but probably can't be shared in public.

SADDEST MOMENT OF 2010
Readers vote: Stephen Strasburg's injury
My vote: Stephen Strasburg's injury
This wound up as a neck-and-neck race between Strasburg, the Opening Day fiasco and Adam Dunn signing with the White Sox. In the end, the Strasburg injury wins by a nose. Or, more appropriately, a torn elbow ligament. For me, the sad moment wasn't so much when he winced in pain upon throwing his final pitch in Philadelphia (though that was tough to watch, especially since it came as he was absolutely dominating the Phillies lineup). No, the truly sad moment was when Mike Rizzo said the words we all feared and had come to expect in a conference call about a week later: "torn ulnar collateral ligament." The reality of the situation immediately sunk in, as did the long-term ramifications for the Nationals franchise.


SENTIMENTAL FAVORITE MOMENT OF 2010
Readers pick: The "Sign Adam Dunn!" chants
My pick: September 5
The love Nationals fans showed for Dunn during the season's final homestand was heartwarming, and the big guy was genuinely moved by it. My personal sentimental favorite moment, though, was actually a nondescript one. It came on September 5 as I packed up my laptop inside the press box at PNC Park in Pittsburgh following Game 137 of 162. There was nothing special about that particular game (the Nats beat the Pirates 8-1) and it meant nothing in the standings and my postgame article was nothing out of the ordinary. But as I looked down at that gorgeous ballpark on a spectacularly gorgeous late Sunday afternoon, shadows creeping over the field, the sun glistening off the skyscrapers beyond the Allegheny River behind the right-field fence, I couldn't help but pause and appreciate the moment. Am I the luckiest guy in the world to be able to do this for a living or what?


"WHAT THE #$%&?!" MOMENT OF 2010
Readers pick: Nyjer Morgan
My pick: Several
There were plenty of submissions about Morgan, some about his temper tantrum in center field that allowed Adam Jones to hit an inside-the-park-homer, some about the events that led up to the bench-clearing brawl in Florida. Whatever your precise moment of choice is, chances are Nyjer was involved. (Though there were also several votes for Cristian Guzman's misplayed line drive in right field in Houston that ended a game in most disturbing fashion, as well as Roger Bernadina getting picked off second base to end a game against the Mets.) I like all those choices, and you can't go wrong with any of them. As a sportswriter, though, my real "What the #$%&?!" moments come when some news breaks that I never saw coming. For me, there were two choices this year: 1) Elijah Dukes getting released during the middle of spring training, and 2) Jayson Werth signing a seven-year contract with the Nats. I became aware of each development via an emailed press release from the Nationals, and my reaction to each was the same: "What the #$%&?!"

63 comments:

Doc said...

We're also lucky, Mark, that you really enjoy doing your chosen career.

Sec3 said...

In hindsight, I think the Silver Elvis Wig would have done better if they'd actually, y'know, needed it after June.

Sec3 said...

Interesting that your two WT[RF] moments were both out of right field. You'd think WT# moments would be out of left field, by definition.

S3MS said...

and I hate to play Capt. Bringdown, but as I was newposted, reposting:

Harmon Killebrew announces he has cancer
By Ben Goessling, December 30, 2010 10:14 AM

http://tinyurl.com/22lmycj

"I was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer. With my wife, Nita, by my side, I have begun preparing for what is perhaps the most difficult battle of my life. I am being treated by a team of medical professionals at the Mayo Clinic. While my condition is very serious, I have confidence in my doctors and the medical staff and I anticipate a full recovery.

The Mayo Clinic is one of the largest and most experienced medical centers treating esophageal cancer in the world. In the past decade, they have made tremendous advances in the treatment of this disease. Nita and I feel blessed to have access to the best doctors and medical care.
I thank everyone for their outpouring of prayers, compassion and concern. Nita and I ask for privacy during this difficult journey."

Andrew said...

My favorite post of yours Mark was about your Grandmother. It hit home with so many of us and also put baseball & life into perspective.

http://natsinsider.blogspot.com/2010/11/life-worth-celebrating.html

Then to read what you just wrote "Am I the luckiest guy in the world to be able to do this for a living or what?" is the reason why you write so well because you are so passionate about what you do.

Wishing you and your wife a Happy New Year and looking forward to more daily Nats Insider entries!

Anonymous said...

Ya man I am grateful that your able to keep your self going with this site and CSN..I dont understand why those mofoe's at the Post didnt hire you when they had the chance...

Anonymous said...

"That it happened in front of a huge pro-Philly crowd that came down I-95 on chartered buses and prevented actual D.C. fans from buying tickets turned this into a moment no one around here will soon forget."

Well, it's not a good thing that they had to resort to inviting Philly fans down here for Opening Day (for the second year in a row) but it's a lie that doing so prevented any actual Nats fans from going to the game. Had the Philly fans not been there, those seats would have been empty. Tickets were available at the box office the day of both games - and not just the $5 grandstand seats. I have a friend who bought walkup tickets for both of those Opening Day games vs the Phillies. And that was despite the influx of Philly fans.

Recall that absent the Phillies as the opponent or a one-of-a-kind event (return of baseball to DC in 2005, Nats Park opening in 2008) the opener has never sold out here. It hasn't even been a tough ticket except for 2005 and 2008. My point is that no Nats fan who really wanted to go to the game has ever been prevented from going, except for 2005 and 2008. Unlike other cities (e.g. Baltimore) there really are not enough hometown fans here to support a sold-out Opening Day year after year. The team is always going to have to resort to creative marketing strategies to sell out that game, and unfortunately the strategy they used in 2009 and especially 2010 backfired on them.

Anonymous said...

Well, they didn't keep their copy editors. And speaking of editors...

Anonymous said...

Whut? I shold have capitalized "The" in the Post?

natsfan1a said...

Loved your sentimental favorite, Mark. IMO, that love for your work shines through in this blog and is a factor in its success. Hope that you'll be able to continue writing about baseball professionally for many years.

I also selfishly hope that your next sportswriter "WHAT THE #$%&?!" moment involves a super-terrific player transaction for the Nats. Oh, and that it happens before, say, Groundhog Day. :-)

Last but not least, now I really want to attend a Nats game in Pittsburgh. I think this will be the year. Wait, didn't I just say that about Spring Training the other day? hmmm...

natsfan1a said...

Wait, that was pretty selfish. Okay, I hope that Mark gets the scoop on the super-terrific player Nats transaction. ;-)

NatsFanTom said...

You are the luckiest guy Mark, and we are all tied for second luckiest, to have your reporting to look forward to each day. I can't say enough good things about Nats Insider. Simply the best Nationals reporting online or in print. Period. Paragraph.

John C. said...

I've seen that PNC Park at sunset view, with the skyline lit like gold over the river - it's truly breathtaking, and why I rate PNC as one of my favorite ballparks. Too bad they have such a perennially crappy team - let's hope the Nats avoid that fate!

Best of luck to Harmon Killebrew in his fight with cancer, and a heartfelt Happy New Year to the NI blog and it's merry band of posters. Yea, verily, even JayB - here's hoping that the Nats become so good that even JayB can't complain! ;)

Kevin Rusch, Section406 said...

Mark, we're the lucky ones. Thank you.

-k

Anonymous said...

Not a good thing to be scooped by Mike Harris? ;) It was good to see a smaller blogger get in on the action ... of course he apparently missed on the Adrian Beltre rumor. Makes one wonder if his insider connection to the Nats isn't through Scott Boras?

erocks33 said...

@Anon 11:41 -- I agree and disagree with you on the availability of OD tix. The problem is that when the first day of tix go on sale to the general public, the Nats only release a certain number of seats in each section, holding onto a large number (particularly in the Infield Gallery section) in case someone wants to purchase a season-ticket package.

Then, as the OD date approaches and the likelihood that they aren't going to sell that many season-ticket packages is when they will release some more tix in each section. The main problem with this method is that for people like me (former 20-game season ticket holder that no longer can afford to plop down that much money at once), I can only afford certain sections inside Nats Park and when the Nats do finally release 3 seats together (have to take my wife and daughter) they're usually in the lower sections of which I just can't afford.

Also, as in the case of this past season's OD fiasco, the Nats allowed Group Sales tickets to be purchased BEFORE the general public were allowed to purchase individual seats. So again, the pickings for the general public to obtain OD tix on the first day they went on sale to the general public were made even less.

So yes, tickets are typically available for Opening Day, but generally not on the first day they are made available to the general public. As the opening date grows nearer, the more affordable seats for which someone would need 3 or more together are practically non-existent, with only the lower-bowl sections available (which most can't afford).

NatBiscuit said...

So when do we do the out/in list?

Out/In:
- Tantrums/Cheers
- Marquis as #1/Marquis as #5
- Stand Pat/Bo Goes
- What's On Second/Who's on First
- Throw Nooo!/No Throw
- Give the Extra Base/Take the Extra Base
- Get er Dunn/Werth It
- Strasburg/Harper
- Clip and Save/Clip and Store
- Position/Range
- The Plan/The Phase
- Stan/The Man
- Boras/Van Wagenen

.... Others?

gavcollins said...

Love your Sept 5 moment, Mark. Nothing more fulfilling than a sunset at a time that you're entirely content. That it came when you were at work is special.

Anonymous said...

"So yes, tickets are typically available for Opening Day, but generally not on the first day they are made available to the general public. As the opening date grows nearer, the more affordable seats for which someone would need 3 or more together are practically non-existent, with only the lower-bowl sections available (which most can't afford)."

Well, this year they offered OD tix as part of a three-game package available before Christmas. I presume you bought yours? If not you have no right to complain later that you can't get the tickets you want.

And using "affordability" as a reason that Nats fans are blocked from getting tickets just doesn't hold water. In a normal world, something desirable like OD is always going to command a premium price. Thousands of Phillies fans had no issue with what they had to pay to get into the game. (Remember, not all of them came via group sales - which is obvious because they were scattered throughout the stadium and not just concentrated in the sections sold to groups.)

greg said...

i bought the 3 game OD tix package. and did it quickly to assure i had the best choice i could find.

greg said...

btw, "group sales" doesn't necessarily guarantee you're getting huge blocks of seats all together. you could have smaller groups of seats over a couple of sections and still be buying as a group. it's not like the nats have contiguous sections of 50 seats together all over the stadium for opening day.

JaneB said...

NatBiscuit....
69/81
Fans tossed for tossing back opposing HR balls/we get to AND so many fewer get hit (inelegant, but you get the point)

Anonymous said...

Regarding the OD tix, I was but a young, naive Nats fan then. So when I went on the internet and tried to buy tickets, and the internet said, "sorry, the tickets are sold out for this event..." I took that to mean that the tickets for the event were sold out. I didn't know then, that it meant some tickets were being held in reserve for season ticket purchases, and some tickets were being held in reserve for 3 or 4 pack purchases (a purchase I would have happily made, had I known it was available).
So I watched OD at home and went to my first Nats game of the season later (for my birthday, on 4/18 to watch Jason Marquis' rather long first inning..., but I digress).
My point is that there were tickets available, but as a young, naive Nats fan I didn't know that they were available - it wasn't what I was told. A bit more information guiding me towards multipack purchases instead of just saying "sold out" would have been good.

erocks33 said...

"Well, this year they offered OD tix as part of a three-game package available before Christmas. I presume you bought yours? If not you have no right to complain later that you can't get the tickets you want."

No, I did not. I have been savaged by economic issues that I just don't need to share with you or others on this site. Even if I went with one of the cheapest options ($10), I'd be looking at 3x$10 (one ticket for me, one for my wife and one for my daughter) = $30. Times 3 games means I have to come up with $90 plus any and all service charges. And I'm sorry to say that I just don't have that amount readily available (I'd prefer to pay my utility bills first).

So no offense, but screw you for telling me that I have no right to complain if I don't get the OD tix I want this year. If I had the money, I would. And I was responding to what happened LAST SEASON and in previous seasons.

When OD tix go on sale for the general public in Feb/March, I believe that the majority of ALL seats should be made available and that none should be held for possible future season ticket purchases.

When OD tix do go on sale for the general public in a couple of months, I feel that I should have an opportunity to purchase just 3 tickets in any section(s) I want to sit in, and not be forced to purchase any 3-game or 20-game or any number-game package.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't one of the Lerner daughters spearhead the Nationals' "marketing" efforts? Does anyone know about her CV? Does she have any real world training? Or is the family trying to placate her by giving her a pet project? All I can say is: FAIL. If this ballclub any any marketing savvy (no matter whom is the driving force) they would not be "forced to" sell tickets to busloads of unwashed Vomiteers from Philadelphia!! One problem creates another.

Anonymous said...

"When OD tix go on sale for the general public in Feb/March, I believe that the majority of ALL seats should be made available and that none should be held for possible future season ticket purchases."

What about holding back the seats of previous STH in the hope that they might yet renew? Given that the sections you mentioned you were shut out of (e.g. Infield Gallery) are prime STH space, this is likely what was going on with many of the seats they held back in previous years. As recently as two years ago, those sections were entirely sold out to STH. Also, many STH were commenting last year that even late into spring training they were getting calls from the ticket office trying to get them to re-up. So it would seem that they really weren't holding back all that many seats for phantom new STH.

Given the overall decline in STH numbers, this really shouldn't be an issue going forward.

Sec3MySofa said...

"When OD tix go on sale for the general public in Feb/March, I believe that the majority of ALL seats should be made available and that none should be held for possible future season ticket purchases."

erocks, with respect, that's just not how it works. OD is *the* premium game--it HAS to be offered to STHs first. They are the butter-and-eggs of any franchise.

Sec3 said...

Well, Anon 3:02 has it. This is maybe my own #1 rant over the years, how badly this business is promoted.

Sec3 said...

That said, erocks and I both will complain about whatever we [dang] well please, kthxbai.

Sec3MySofa said...

But apparently a significant number of walkup tickets *were* available, and MLB *are* expensive--so is a play at the Shakespeare Theater, or a popular musical act at any top venue. Sucks, but there you are.
They made a conscious effort to sell tickets to the other team's fans, rather than locally, because it was easier in the short run. Shooting fish in a barrel, really, but then you're left with a shot-up barrel that stinks of dead fish, and what can you do with that?

natsfan1a said...

Nice, JaneB, but I think the number "86" might be more appropriate. :-)

---

JaneB said...

NatBiscuit....
69/81
Fans tossed for tossing back opposing HR balls/we get to AND so many fewer get hit (inelegant, but you get the point)
December 30, 2010 2:26 PM

Steve M. said...

MLB has the GIBBY Awards and I think Mark Zuckerman should do something similar for NatsTown only.

Put up the categories with 4 or so nominees and let everyone vote to become the official NatsTown winners. Certainly could have defensive play of the year, Rookie of the Year, Team MVP, etc. My favorite is the "WHAT THE #$%&?!" MOMENT OF 2010

natsfan1a said...

erocks, don't let the anonymii get you down. Hope that things improve for you financially with the new year.

KEEPING SCORE said...

Are Sec3, Sec3MySofa, and erock33 all the same people?

As far as financial stuff, I paid my Nats tickets from my savings account last year and with this tough economy I am in the same boat. Not sure what I will do to fix my Nats habit.

SectionThree(3),MySofa said...

I do sometimes go by my surname, Sec3, (friends call me Sofa), or variants thereof, but note I was addressing erocks, so that's not me.

Sunderland said...

Sofa-dude. Brilliant.

Sec3 said...
Interesting that your two WT[RF] moments were both out of right field. You'd think WT# moments would be out of left field, by definition.

That sofa really brings the room together said...

Hey, the Sofa-Dude abides, man.

BinM said...

Agreed, the Sofa abides.

However, the Nationals still need a 1B, and Marrero isn't it.

JaneB said...

Wanting to book spring training hotels etc. Any advice? There the 17th through the 22nd... A new thread I know but I'm excited....

Also sometimes our tickets go begging because we can't go and can't find so eons who wants to go. I'd love for a Loyal Reader here to be able to use them. Like erocs. Or Mr. Or Ms. Sofa. Or others.How could we make something like that happen?

natsfan1a said...

Will be interested to hear/read what advice others might have for JaneB, as we're hoping to wend our way to Viera for the first time, too. I've squirreled away some tidbits in a spring training file over the years, but the info's probably outdated.

As for the other question, I'm putting on my thinking cap...

Sunderland said...

JaneB - Spring training? Wait until you see NatsJack active again, and ask him.

Feel Wood said...

"However, the Nationals still need a 1B, and Marrero isn't it."

It will be either LaRoche or Lee. They're the only two left, and the Nats and O's are the only two teams yet to buy. Rizzo no doubt sees them as six of one, half dozen of the other - because they basically are. He doesn't want to overpay, though, and neither do the O's. So somehow or other they'll both sign, for less than they'd like to get - not unlike Dunn did in 2009. And like Dunn, it may take til the last minute before they do. But it will all get sorted out in plenty of time. Meanwhile, Rizzo is probably focusing on pitching, as he should be.

Another_Sam said...

@JaneB - I've done it both ways; with hotels booked in advance, and with just the first night booked. You can't go wrong; you don't spend much time in the hotel. Last spring I spent one night in the Holiday in at Viera, just across 95 from Suncoast Stadium. Seemed to be lots of Nationals fans there. I often stay in a different hotel each night, due to scheduling. I think that the thing to do is pick a week where you can see at least one game each day, map out your itinerary, and then you'll see where you need to stay each night. There's no shortage of hotels in Florida -- the state is practically one big hotel. LOL What do the rest of you guys say about Spring Training?

Another_Sam said...

Natsfan1a -- I don't look at it as a trip to Florida; I look at it as a trip to spring Training. You'll see mostly the parks. As I indicated above, just figure out where you need to drive to so you can see at least one game a day. There are a few night games, so if you there at the right time you can see two games in one day. If you have must see stadia, plan you week accordingly. Last year was my first time in the new Yankees park in Tampa -- and it's fabulous. Livan was in top form there. My brother and I were two of about a dozen non-Yankee fans in the packed house. BTW, I'm ready for spring training right now.

mjr said...

NatBiscuit, love the In/Out list. How about Adam(s)/Eve(s)? Or Super Willie/Super Michael? Maybe Listach/Mustache? Yeah, I'm reaching here...

Anonymous said...

It will be either LaRoche or Lee.

Got my bad ear? Huh? This is Rizzo not Bowden. There are more some decent blocked first base prospects out there as well. I suspect its Lee not LaRoche.

Three years of LaRoche is too long, while 2 years of Lee might be just what Rizzo had been planning with Dunn. Offensively they spec out pretty close with Lee actually better than Dunn if he remains healthy. Plus his fielding is better than most.

Its either Lee or its going to be Morse and ?. They may be waiting to fille the position next year ... there will be Fielder but there is already talk of the Nats making a run at Pujols. If Rizzo is considering moving Tyler Moore to Syracuse to play with MIchael Aubrey then you have to think they will move Marerro. The TB Rays could definitely use a bat at first base and DH in addition to what they currently have.

For the Nats starting pitching still has to be the primary focus this year. Any important trade will likely involve that need first and foremost.

LoveDaNats said...

What a great post! I had so much fun reading everyone's opinion. On spring training, I would love to go to Viera and see at least one game per day. I went to one game last year, when the Nats played the Braves at Disney's Wide World of Sports. That was the "compromise". My family is not quite the Nats fan I am so Disney had to be the hook to get them down there. Maybe the answer is to find like minded folk and do pure Viera.

Sunderland said...

C'mon peric, the Nats ain't getting Prince Fielder. Once he becomes a free agent, and it's open bidding, the AL clubs will see less risk in him than the NL clubs, and his best offer(s) will be coming from AL teams. He's not going to be looking at a 3 or 4 year deal. Long term, guaranteed money, and the NL teams will see his 270 lb frame as a bigger risk than AL clubs will. It why Dunn went to the AL, it's why Fielder will end up in the AL.

And "talk about the Nats making a run at Pujols" is too meaningless at this point to even address. BTW, we made a run at Greinke, at Teixiera, at Cliff Lee.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Anonymous 11:41 is wrong: I continuously tried to buy two OD tickets from early March through the day before OD. I was told none existed, except as part of a season ticket or four-game package. That's because Nats Group Sales took about 25,000 off the market to pimp themselves out to the 215 crowd. This is a pure StanK move, one of the most disgraceful things I've ever been a part of in more than 50 years of attending sporting events. And StanK's excuse, such as it was, was even worse: "That's just what happened."

The greatest day this franchise ever had, bar none, was when thta slimy, two-faced , used-car salesman took his measly 2 percent ownership stake and got the hell out of town. Worst. Sports. Team. President. Ever.

Take a bow, StanK. Don't let the door hit you.

Nattydread said...

Hey Mark! Happy New Year.

One of my highlights was getting a spring training Viera postcard from you. It was really thoughtful of you to send those out.

Since I only get back to the US (and Nats games) a few times a year, it's really great to have someone who helps make me part of the action. Your site is a great read with my morning coffee everyday, and again in the afternoon!

Thanks!!!

Big Cat said...

Poor Marrero. All the kid does is work hard and hit the baseball. He hit .306 in Puerto Rico this winter. And then he gets trashed on the chat lines.

Another_Sam said...

Sunshine and others - for all entertainment events, sold out doesn't mean no tickets available.. It just means that tickets are expensive. Tickets available means - to the man - that he set the price too high.

Another_Sam said...

@LoveDaNats - For me a week in Viera wouldn't be so appealing. But a week of spring training is fabulous. The guilty pleasure is beyond description. As I indicate above, most of one's time is spent in the ballparks, the rental car, the hotel bar, and the hotel coffee shop. You get a lot of baseball in just a few days.

Since the Nats came to town, my drill has been to see as many Nats games in a week as I can and other games that I can get to. BTW Viera still isn't A garden spot but it's come a long way since I've been focused on it due to the Nats.

natsfan1a said...

Thanks for the tips, Another_Sam.

natsfan1a said...

p.s. Just stumbled on this site, to which readers can submit their own ST tips:

http://www.springtrainingtips.com/index.php

Savvy_Cynic said...

On marketing savvy - none, nada, zero and zilch pretty much sum up the Nats. Get a storefront in Tysons, have a player stop by now and then, and market to the most affluent shoppers in the country. Tell 'em how easy it is to get to the game on Metro. What a no-brainer. (Comment is redux from last year.) Recall how the Orioles convinced us that they were our team with that Farragut Square marketing program?

Jim Webster said...

JaneB, natsfan1a and others looking into Spring Training trips: We've gone 4 of the 6 years (will skip this one for economy reasons) and stayed each time in rented condos directly on the ocean in Satellite Beach, about a 20-minute drive from Space Coast Stadium. Saw Nats play Dodgers during LA's final stand in Vero Beach, and play Houston at Kissimmee, lots of games at Viera. Advantage of rented condo for two-week stay: buy groceries and cook at home (although we ended up often at Goombay's, great seafood on A1A). We also had kids and grandkids along and they did side trips to Disney, Brevard Zoo, Canaveral, spent plenty of time in the surf.

Section 109 said...

Great post by Mark, great comments earlier and on this one. Jane B., we've been at ST five yrs now & really love it, even though we have time only for one weekend. We've been to Kissimmee once, but otherwise we stick with oft-maligned Viera, which we really like for a short stay. I can't comment on fields other than those, but it's far easier to have proximity to the players at good old Viera. The unfriendly guards at Kissimmee wdn't let us anywhere near the practice fields. (Otherwise the folks at Kissimmee were friendly.) If you want to see practice and get some autographs, Viera is excellent. And Viera is where I first met Mark! One caveat about sitting in the stadium--don't underestimate the sun. And now I'm laughing at myself because what wdn't I give right now for a game in FL in blazing sun? And once ST is here, the season is just moments away!

Sec3MySofa said...

on a related note: anybody going to St. Pete in mid-to-late March?

Scooter said...

I just spent a bunch of time looking at y'all's spring training tips, and also at that springtrainingtips site, dreaming of the Feb/March I will have in 2012.

I love each and every one of you.

Another_Sam said...

Webster -- I too was at that Nats game in Vero Beach that you refer too. My only game ever in that park. Fabulous. At first I thought it was a Tommy Lasorda lookalike hired to entertain the fans, but it was the guy himself, in a spotless gleaming white Dodger uniform greeting fans under the trees outside the park and posing for pictures. Unbelievable.

109 -- Kissemme has that runway chute in the left field corner that gives fans a chance to get very close to the players. I like that park okay. And it's easy to see a game there on your first day south. And yes, 109, I can feel the days getting longer now and so spring training is approaching. This time of the year is the worst for me. But there's better things on the horizon.

Section 109 said...

Thanks, Another Sam. We haven't figured out what weekend we'll go down, and if it's the one with the Astros game @ Kissimmee, now I'll know where to hang out.

natsfan1a said...

My thanks, too, as that's the weekend we've been thinking about going due to other commitments.

hmmm...do I smell an NI road trip?? :-)

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