Monday, July 4, 2011

"It was time to make something happen"

US Presswire photo
Jayson Werth is congratulated by Ian Desmond upon scoring the winning run.
Jayson Werth stood at second base, watching as Cubs reliever Marcos Mateo departed the field alongside a trainer and Carlos Marmol entered from the bullpen without advance warning. He watched Marmol warm up, taking as much time as he needed given the injury to his teammate.

Obviously, Werth had ample opportunity to analyze the situation at hand. Bottom of the 10th. Tie game. One out. Ivan Rodriguez at the plate.

And one clear thought came to mind: Steal third base.

"In that situation, with one out, I'd rather be on third than on second," Werth said. "I just felt like, it was time to make something happen. It felt right."

So he took off as Marmol delivered his first pitch and slid safely into third base. Cubs catcher Geovany Soto never even attempted to throw him out. Werth's jump was too good. He caught everyone in the ballpark by surprise.

"There was no sign for that," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "It was just his read, and boom, he's over there. That's a winning attitude."

A winning attitude that actually produced a win moments later when Marmol's slider to Rodriguez sailed to the backstop and Werth scampered home with the run that gave the Nationals a 5-4, extra-inning victory.

As he leaped into teammate Ian Desmond's arms near the on-deck circle, Werth heard the roar from a delirious Independence Day crowd of 32,937. Many of those same fans booed him mercilessly three innings earlier when he struck out with a chance to give his team the lead, his latest failure in a clutch spot during a homestand that has featured plenty of them.

This, though, was perhaps Werth's signature moment in a Nationals uniform. No, it didn't come on a home run, or a double or even a great throw to the plate (though he did have one of those earlier during Monday's game). It came with one burst of hustle, the kind of play anyone -- $126 million contract or minimum-salary deal -- could make, but not the kind of play everyone actually makes.

"Cheer me, boo me, whatever," he said. "I'm still going to go out there and play my game. Winning ballgames is the most important thing."

The Nationals are somehow winning ballgames right now, not every day but enough to hover right around the .500 mark (they now sit at 43-43). They pulled this one out in remarkable fashion, somehow scoring three runs over the game's final five innings despite producing only one base hit that left the infield.

They pulled it out despite missing Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse from the starting lineup, each dealing with nagging injuries.

They pulled it out despite 43-year-old fill-in first baseman Matt Stairs departing after banging his knee on a rail as he tried to track down a foul ball, a development that forced career outfielder Laynce Nix to switch to first base for the first time since high school.

They pulled it out with two pitchers needing to come off the bench as pinch-hitters, including Livan Hernandez, who dropped the picture-perfect sacrifice bunt that advanced Werth to second base during the 10th-inning rally.

This isn't exactly Johnson's preferred style of baseball. He admittedly likes the three-run homer over the sacrifice bunt. And he couldn't remember ever using two pitchers as pinch-hitters in the same game before.

But he also knows he can only manage what he's got. And what he's got right now is a somewhat-flawed roster that still finds a way to keep (and often win) close games.

"We've got guys that can go out of the ballpark," he said. "But we're scoring on groundballs in the infield and walks. It's not really a good comfort zone for me yet. But I think we're a much better ballclub than that, and I think we're going to show it in the second half."

Johnson was talking about his entire team, but he easily could have been referring specifically to Werth, who still isn't producing the big hits the Nationals were counting on when they signed him to that gargantuan contract but on Monday found plenty of other ways to contribute.

He did come through with a pair of RBI: one on a broken-bat single to right, another on a weak grounder to third. He drew two walks. He stole that key base in the 10th (though he also was caught stealing earlier in the game). He threw a runner out at the plate. He also was involved in a gross mis-communication in the outfield, pulling up short along with Roger Bernadina to watch a routine fly ball land in between them and allow two runs to score.

Werth hopes and believes he'll start producing in conventional ways soon. In the meantime, is he making a conscious effort to try to contribute in less-conventional ways?

"I wouldn't say it's a conscious effort," he said. "I'd classify it as just playing. I'm still doing what I do. ... You get hot, you get cold, you keep hustling, you keep playing the game hard. Do it the right way. Helping your team win: I think that's the most important thing. At the end of the year, if your team wins the World Series and you didn't hit all year, it really doesn't matter."

On this day, it didn't matter much to the crowd or the Nationals' clubhouse how low Werth's batting average had dropped, or whether he helped let a fly ball fall to the ground.

It mattered only that he scored the winning run that got this roller-coaster club back to the .500 mark.

"He plays the game the right way, and good things are going to happen with him," Rodriguez said. "He's doing a good job, even though offensively it's not there. He's going to be right there pretty soon. But all the things he does, it means a lot to us."


MicheleS said...

Well was at the game today and have to agree with JaneB.. The wave is the worst thing ever!!!

The funnies thing that happened.. Cubs fan in our section called the wild pitch as soon as Marmol came into the game and we all patted him on the back as we were leaving

Also, I don't think I will ever sit in Sec314 again.. Had yappy person on oneside who was talking loud enough for the entire section to here about their miserable job and on the otherside.. Angry guy! who was yelling at everything, good or bad.

JaneB.. just as an fyi.. i think the upper deck doesn't get good cell service, I couldn't post from the game up there.

Joe Seamhead said...

You Jason Werth bashers, read what Pudge says in that last paragraph.

Anonymous said...

Werth plays baseball the old-school way. Don't fret, he's worth every dime. He'll come out of his hitting slump. The intangibles Werth's providing is making the Nats a better team. Also, Davey Johnson knows how to manage. Sending Livan up to bunt was a great move. Look for the Nationals to light up Ramon Ortiz, the Cubs starter, tomorrow. Expect a decent start from Ross Detwiler.

natsfan1a said...

As well as the second Werth quote re. cheering and booing. Atta boy, Jayson. :-)

Joe Seamhead said...

You Jason Werth bashers, read what Pudge says in that last paragraph.
July 4, 2011 7:23 PM

Cwj said...

Yes indeed Joe Seamhead. Pudge put it well.

And I really don't understand the booing.
Why? Because of Werth's contract? As if that money would go to one of us instead of him.

I guess it's just me and a a few others, but you just don't boo a player who is trying. You boo a player like (if anyone remembers) Felipe Lopez, Elijah Dukes, etc.
This isn't New York or Philadelphia.

True Nats fans root root root for the home team.

JaneB said...

I agree Cwj. I like that we are a non-booing stadium, for the most part. It's so clear that Werth isn't dogging it.

natsfan1a said...

Re. the wave, yeah, it's dumb and so is Teddy's losing. That said, I was recently seated amid a gaggle of kids at Nationals Park and noticed that they were really into the president's race and rooting for Mr. R. Course, they might still be into it were it to be a *real* race, like it used to be on the RFK scoreboard. Well, okay, it was animated then, but it wasn't fixed, if you get my drift. But the thing is, they really seemed to get a kick out of it. What the heck, I'm glad somebody does. :-)

Get Some Players said...

So with all the injuries, it seems the Nats will have to make a move i.e. callup(s).

Stuart said...

Mark, had to work today but really got the flavor of the game from this piece. A curiously long post that leaves me searching for a Posterisk!

sjm308 said...

Can't really call this a great game but I can call it a great win!! Cwj, you are right on point. This guy hustles and does little things that we have not honestly seen on a consistent basis. He breaks up double plays, beats out infield hits and plays a better than ave. RF. His throw today was spot on and I loved how Pudge did not even get into position until the very last minute. We have a great view of that play up in 308. Hate to talk about my section but late in the game people game in that obviously were not holding tickets to this section and it became a gab fest. I actually had to leave me season ticket seat and move away from all the chatter about long lost sisters, and the neighborhood etc.

As for the wave, I announced loudly that if my sons took part in the wave, they would be cut out of the will. People laughed but none of us partook and honestly not many around us did either.

We made them use 6 different relief pitchers. I realize we used a bunch as well but I feel like Clip is good for another inning tomorrow and I love Mattheus. We have Coffey and Burnett totally fresh and Balestar also had the day off. Lets hope Ross can give us 6 solid innings.

Nice win boys
Go Nats!!

Sec3MySofa said...

"True Nats fans root root root for the home team."

I don't like booing the home guys, generally either, but just for the sake of argument, suppose I stipulate I'm not a "true" fan, whatever that means. What happens then?

A true baseball fan waits for a stop in play, and doesn't walk to their seat in the middle of an at-bat. A true fan might do the wave, just not in the late innings of a close game.
You want to see real fans? Go to St. Louis. We are generations removed from even aspiring to that level. Probably never going to happen. Those people know how to go to a baseball game.

Sec3MySofa said...

Back to the game: It sounded like Werth was saying he intended to steal third as soon as he reached base, knowing Livo was up there to bunt him to second. Since the Cubs all but gift-wrapped it for him, that worked out pretty well. Not a bad plan--everybody knows how wild Marmol can be--even money you'll get a good pitch to run on if you go at random. But nicely done, in any event.

Grandstander said...

I think a lot of the problem with the crowds is that:

A) They haven't been to many baseball games and don't know how to conduct themselves.

B) The Independence Day weekend crowds are largely non-fans and not casual fans, who go to the game just because it's something to do.

I try to remain non-elitist, as we all paid for tickets (and mine cost substantially less than those around me), but when it's a packed house, and you don't have the ability to simply move a little bit away, it can become extremely grating.

As for booing, I grew up a Yankees fan (from NY) so I'm used to it. I don't really care if a guy is "trying hard", if he sucks I'm going to let him now. I got in Danny Cabrera's ear pretty hard one of those games and a few other choice players over the years. That being said, I haven't booed Werth. He's not that bad, just frustrating.

This game was one we should have lost, with all those bonehead plays in the OF. Luckily, the Cubs were just a little worse today and we snatched it. JZimm is probably wondering what he has to do to get a win in this town.

Crowds should clear out a little with these weeknight games, though the Cubs always draw well, even when they're terrible. I've noticed the lower RF terrace seats aren't too bad in terms of casual fans, if you're looking for a move. Though I almost always sit behind the dugout on the 1B and have never really had a problem in that area b/c it's mostly STH.

Cwj said...

Sec3MySofa- What happens if you say you are not a true Nats fan? Absolutely nothing.
Though it would be a little weird posting on NatsInsider if you were not. :)

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

People who do the Wave at baseball games ought to be exiled to Iowa and sentenced to reading Tom Harkin speeches for the remainder of their living days.

As for booing Werth, sure, he's an easy target. But to hear Phil Wood tell it after the game, Werth is banged up big-time and still is playing. It would be easy to take a few days off, especially to avoid the booing. I certainly aren't happy with his offensive numbers. He just seems to freeze when he has two strikes on him. Surely he misses the protection the Phillie lineup offered him. His defense is OK (although less so when he has to go back on a ball) but he does a lot of little things. But I loved his comment: "Boo me, cheer me, whatever." He doesn't care. Just win, baby.

What more concerns me is Davey Johnson, to me, is the Billy Martin of the 21st Century. Not the let's-get-drunk-and-kill-somebody Martin. But the I-don't-care-about-blowing-out-arms-let's-win-today Martin. His love of Stares bothers me too. But he's winning (a little bit) but he does seem to manage with the pedal to the metal. I just hope he doesn't think he still has Terry Crowley coming off the bench in the bottom of the 10th for a three-run homer.

Desmond. Bernie. Zim. Werth. If three of those four get hot offensively, we make a run. If not, we're not.

But stop the stinking Wave, people. This isn't the SEC.

MicheleS said...

I think one good thing is that Lance Nix and Matt Stairs have played pretty good at 1b while Morse is out. I also think that as Stairs gets more consistent at bats, he will hit.

MicheleS said...

Just read kilgore's comments.. Looks like Stairs was hurt and that's why he left the game.. Apparant knee injury..

Umm.. are we running out of players?

Cwj said...

MicheleS- Agreed. It's awesome that since LaRoche went down 1B has not been a weak spot defensively like I originally feared.

Not so sure about Stairs, but who knows? Anything can happen really.

greg said...

i think the definition of "true fan" is kinda like the definition of "patriotic american." it's one defined by a narrow category of people.

i don't like the wave, but whatever. it's not going anywhere. so as long as people don't stand up in front of me during a play, i can deal with it.

i don't boo my own players for mistakes, but i'm not going to tell others they shouldn't. it only bothers me when it's truly tasteless (and i'm a guy who loves tasteless stuff, fart jokes are hilarious, but there's a time and a place to scream certain things).

of all the things people complained about, the only thing that really gets me at times is people standing up in front of me in the middle of a play. i know people are going to walk in/out at inopportune moments, but don't stop and have a conversation while you're doing it. get in and get out.

pos anon said...

Before his death, Red Shipley did bluegrass broadcasts in the afternoons and on Sunday mornings at WAMU. He had a great saying that fits the things you're (collectively) discussing tonight. He was fond of saying, "If that (fill in the blank here) is the worst thing that happens today, we'll be alright." I think he was right. Life is short; enjoy the ride.

Sunderland said...

Harper 2 for 3, both singles, plus a walk in 4 PA's. Norris 2 HR's and double, but still under .210. Peacock, 6 innings, 5 hits and 2 walks, 1 ER, 9K's, record now at 10 - 2.

Navy Nats Fan said...

They're starting to take notice!

Finally started reading this week's Sports Illustrated and was pleasantly surprised by this writer's selection of Danny Espinosa as NL ROY (for the first half). Go to the third page of the article to see it in writing.

I am still in awe of the double play he and Desi turned in the 9th innning today. With the runner on first not being held and off on the pitch, they still got two!

sjm308 said...

Feel a little sorry for Potomac although I would not drive south on 495 through Tysons to see Babe Ruth. Rizzo swears its not the field but I am betting that it had some bearing. I like Harper taking the bigger jump and constantly being challenged and I also like the hope that this will bring him to DC just a little sooner. How about June of next year? Does this group think Rendon will be able to move even quicker, being older, and having more experience.

That would give us quite a group to chose from. I still want to enjoy what we are doing this year but can't help thinking about Desmond and Espinosa another year further along with Lombardozzi & Rendon pushing both along with a healthy Zimm, LaRoche and of course Morse will still be available. What an infield group.

natsfan1a said...

pos anon, well said. Loved all of the WAMU bluegrass programming, which you can still get if you have an HD radio.

Cool re. Espi, Navy, thanks for sharing the link!

sjm, as someone who lives south of Tysons, I resemble that remark. ;-)

Drew8 said...

If folks want to get a close up look at Bryce Harper, you've got a bunch of chances this month.

First, he's coming to Richmond this weekend. Harrisburg plays the hideously named Flying Squirrels Friday night, Saturday (doubleheader), Sunday, then at noon Monday, which is getaway day.

Harrisburg returns to Richmond for five more games from Thursday, July 21 through Sunday, July 24. That doubleheader is on the Friday night.

As for tonight's minor league update:

At Syracuse, Lombardozzi had three more hits. After 66 at bats he's hitting .424! The dude is channeling Rogers Hornsby.

As Sunderland noted, it was quite the night in Harrisburg. Maybe Harper's presence is lighting a fire under Derek Norris, his old pal from the AFL.

Peacock now has a 2.10 ERA and 129 K's with only 23 walks. If you look at his minor league statistics, it's a stunning turnaround. There was not the remotest indication this was in the offing.

Can it really be as simple as good coaches showing him how to close his hands and hide the baseball?

At Hagerstown, Taylor Jordan, the 9th round pick out of Brevard CC in Florida, had another good start. He's 8-4 with a 2.68 ERA.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Second 1a...posanon, that is good advice, and timely. Thanks.

greg said...

they're also playing at bowie baysox on 7/25-7/27, right after the richmond series. might be a shorter drive for many here.

baseballswami said...

Don't mind sitting around little kids trying the wave. What I do mind is -- people standing up in front of me during an at-bat - they are not actually watching the game and have no idea that they are blocking my view. The other thing that we have here in DC is the group that comes from work for " team building" or some other such crap.They don't take off their ties and they still blather about work the whole time and have work-related discussions. They never look at the field - then they realize they better catch the metro and , thankfully, they leave. Especially bad - Thursday afternoon games. We have a lot of touristy fans - but, hey - their money is green.

Drew8 said...

While viewing at home, the thing that drives me bonkers is the guys in the primo Lexus seats looking at their gadgets instead of watching the game.

I wish the Nats would schedule BlackBerrys in the Anacostia Night.

Dave said...

Nobody should ever walk to their seat in the middle of an at-bat.

Last week some guy tried to get past me as the pitcher was winding up. I verbally acknowledged, him, stared like a laser at what was happening on the field, and then relaxed and let him get by after I marked the pitch in my scorebook.

I don't love the wave, but I freaking HATE people who mill about in front of me while the game is going on.

Dave said...

That is, I "verbally acknowledged him," etc.

I didn't even type that one on my iPhone. Some demon must be in my laptop keyboard.

Steve J, Alexandria said...

Good for Werth. He needed that. I wonder, though, why Werth didnt have a steal sign, i.e. why wasn't the staff as anxious for Werth to be on third base in the 10th as much as Werth was. Go Nats -- but I'm still concerned about the new coaching staff.

masnstinks said...

I see a couple of encouraging signs from today's game, even though they really did hand us the win. First of all - the absolute audacity of Jayson Werth. His swagger is part of his game and it has been absent.I hope it's back. Second - I have not exactly been a fan of the new manager but am very glad to hear that he realizes that he has to manage what he's got, not what he wishes he had. Using Livo to bunt is not a new idea - but it is a great idea.Now, if we could just get Teddy a curly W!!

Steve J, Alexandria said...

To Grandstander: Talking about the crowds: as hard it is to accept sometimes, D.C. is not a baseball town -- oh, there are a lot of baseball fans, but not enough to fill National's Park. I notice that a $22 ticket on the Patio gets you a $20 liquor voucher. Management, I guess, WANTS to make Nationals Park a place to hang and to make the scene at, matters not if they know the game or not, I guess. I remember the old crowds at Memorial Stadium - 20k was a good draw. Those folks new their game. At Camden? It was a place to be -- and the knowledgable folks for the most part got first squeezed out and then priced out of the game. I remember one night at Camden, a guy was explaining the game to a novice. I realized what a complicated game it is to a person who has not a clue. "... now a ball is when the pitch isnt in the strike zone." "What's a strike zone?"

Anonymous said...

Im all in for Werth, I boo'd briefly Saturday night at the umpire but quickly stopped when I discerned others were booing Werth. How embarrassing.

I hope Stairs is ok but I'm afraid he's still on the short list of players that have to move on this month to make room for fresh meat. Stairs has no trade value but will be picked up if released. Ankiel, Hairston, and Coffey have trade value as do quite a few minor league pitchers. Bixler is a keeper in the organization but may havevto forfeit his MLB job for a time. I want to keep Pudge and Cora. I worry someone will ask for Lannan instead of Marquis.

I don't mind the park being full, but the Wave sucks, the concessionaires do not engender sympathy and they need to keep the food hot and the condiments full.

And tip your vendors.


greg said...

coffey has some trade value.

ankiel and hairston have little trade value. if you can find a trade partner, you'll get an "organizational" minor leaguer with an outside chance at turning into a brian bixler for them. there's not a lot of trade value for 4th OFs and utility players.

Anonymous said...

Steve J,

Why don't you take yourself up to Baltimore if they are such great fans. Remember when they played at Memorial Stadium? They were almost always winners. That's why they drew so well. D.C. will sell out Nationals park once this team ever becomes a winner.

sparky said...

Freddiemac, you need to hone up on your reading comprehension.

Anonymous8 said...

I have been a season ticket holder since 2005 but I did bring in season ticket partners in 2008. I go to 20 games and use Red Carpet rewards to attend a few more.

I don't like boo'ing our own players. I think the core fanbase of true knowledgable fans is around 15,000 and many of those don't have tickets and watch on TV or listen on the radio.

Now you have the Capitals phenomena where the team starts playing well and they have to check it out and some are now getting hooked by "winning" and they are the typical bandwagon fans that come out for big games like Strasburg, Opening Day, and "winning". These are the more boisterous types of fans which is usually a good thing for that home field advantage. These are also the same fans that will boo a Jayson Werth. I don't like that behavior but I will take those extra fans as the vibe in the stadium is better. So long as the stadium doesn't start doing things similar to "Unleash the Fury" and "Rock the Red", I am okay with it. Clapping and cheering is what this team needs more of.

Now before I was a Nats guy without a team in Washington I made the dreadful drive and park at Memorial Stadium. It was very similar. A solid fanbase that would fill half the park. When they moved to the new stadium in Camden I think the location made it easier to attract new fans. With all the losing there and Angelos, the fans left quickly.

Outside of your core fanbase, isn't it really about winning?

natsfan1a said...

Drew8, lol. I don't own a Blackberry, and I throw like a girl, but I'd be happy to give my best effort for the team during your proposed promo.

Re. in-game annoyances, yeah, the people typing on or yapping into their electronic devices behind home plate, as seen on tv, are silly, but they aren't blocking my view or disrupting my experience even when I'm at the park so whatever (upper deckian and all that).

I do mind people walking in front of me, or, even more so, standing there for prolonged periods during an at-bat. In the latter case, I have been known to say something like "Excuse me, but we can't see the game. Would you mind? Thanks." Was at a game recently where one guy asked another the same but in a more aggressive manner, and that just resulted in a verbal p*ssing match (although I suppose it could have been worse). Fan 1: Hey, are you gonna sit down? Fan 2: No, why? Fan 1: Because you're blocking my view! Fan 2: Too bad!! (although he did finally sit down)

The wave? Yeah, it's lame, and it would be nice if they could at least confine it to non-crucial moments in the game, but I think that ship sailed a long time ago. One time I was at a game where some teenaged girls were running around our section exhorting people to take part during a key moment in the game. When they got to me, I just said something like, yeah, it's not really a good time right now and turned my attention back to the game, and they tossed their heads and huffed off (my bad).

Truth be told, it's more annoying to me when Screech stands in the section behind home plate waving his arms around and goofing off when one of our pitchers is on the bump. What's up with that? Maybe there should be a mascot loyalty oath or something. ;-)

If someone's behavior is really out of line, I'd be inclined to tell an usher rather than confronting them directly. I've only ever done that once, at RFK, when there were some young adult home fans who were throwing stuff on some visiting fans (and one of the visiting fans was a little kid). The visiting fans had done nothing to provoke them, other than wearing the visiting team's colors. The usher spoke to the trash tossers and they stopped.

Wally said...

Grandstander/Drew8 - Any word on Peacock's velocity? It was down a little in his last start.

Ironically, I am heading to NJ today to visit family, and am taking my kids and brother to the Lakewood-Hagerstown game to see Harper. Except .... not! Nor do I get to see him in Woodbridge, so I'll just wait unti 2012 I guess.

Good win yesterday. They kept battling even after trying to give it away early. The defense really gave away some runs for JZimm, but winning is what counts.

Nats1924 said...

lets put together a nice little win streak before the all star break!

lets go dubs!

m20832 said...

Winning sure is a cure all, isn't it? Now if our Boys of Summer can string a few together against these lowly cubbies and win the Rockies series, they will be sitting pretty for the second half.


Bzl. said...

I love you guys and gals. For the record:

--I hate the Wave. (What was the deal in the Stairs walk-off game, in the 9th? A Wave started up when the ump was writhing in pain.)

--I hate rude people who try to get to their seats during at at-bat. Being a STH who has seat #10 in a 20-seat aisle, I practice what I preach. Can't the Nats try to encourage politeness? It happens at the Verizon Center.

--I dislike people who yap all around me about everything but the game. This has gotten to be more of a problem this year, as my section (210) seems to have become a favorite spot for Rewards tickets; hence, relatives and friends who go for free and couldn't give a darn about the game.

--I don't boo our players. The only time I'll boo is if Felipe Lopez or Nyjer Morgan is visiting. I got to admit that it takes discipline to not boo Werth's called 3rd strikes; swinging strikes aren't an issue for me.

--I love bluegrass, and miss the old WAMU. Just thought I'd throw that in.

This blog is so much better than the WaPo Journal, as concerns the contributors. Thanks Mark!

Go Nats!

Nats Outsider said...

I don't want to defend rudeness, but people who go to their seats during the game are faced with two bad choices. They can either climb past other fans in the row, in which case they block the view of those fans, or they can stand at the end of the aisle, in which case they block the view of **different** fans.

I've tried both approaches. Neither of them work.

Constant Reader said...

Confluence of events:

The trade deadline (July 31) and CMW having to be called up to to the big league roster or essentially let go (July 27).

As always, I'd be curious to hear what fellow posters think the solution should be and what you are hearing Mark. Assuming CMW continues to make progress, it strikes me as a decision with pretty significant ramifications is coming.

sjm308 said...

Great comments again today folks!
I have already commented on the fans around me yesterday but it was honestly the first time this season that people up in 308 were not concentrating on the game. Its usually a good place to be. I am thinking tonights game (love redcarpet rewards) will bring a different crowd with fewer tourists.

Just heard Buster Olney on the radio call Jason Werth's contract the worst in the game. He did not blame Jason for signing it, but I still don't get it. I realize it takes an entire team but last year what was our record after 86 games? Last year I don't think we expected to win games like yesterday. I am not saying this is all Werth but he sure helps with his attitude. I realize he is not hitting and that is a struggle for all of us right now watching him at the plate but he does so much more. His throw home yesterday was key, his baserunning obviously did win this game. His contract also shows major league baseball that we are in this thing for the long haul. I liked Adam Dunn while he was here but look at what he has done compared to Jason and its not pretty, and the huge thing for me is that Dunn has NEVER played on a winning team and in Jason's first year here, we are at .500. Again, I realize that is not all Jason but he is a part of this. I will not boo him while he continues to hustle. I understand he gets upset with himself when he doesn't produce at the plate but he is able to let that go out in the field and I think that is difficult to do. OK, you guys can disagree with me but no way is Jason's contract the worst in the majors IMO, if you look at our teams results.

Bzl. said...

Nats Outsider: If a fan waits at the top of the aisle, and then goes to his/her seat at the end of the at-bat, I don't see that they are blocking anyone's view. This is what basketball and hockey fans are directed to do at Verizon (where you have to wait for a whistle); it works there.

sjm308 said...

Have to add to the fans coming and going at their own pleasure. Went to both a Phillies and Toronto game last year and was impressed that the ushers actually stop fans from going down an aisle until after that at-bat. god forbid our ushers actually have to work and while I love when they are not paying attention and I get to move down into better seats if I have exchanged tickets over near sec 131, they really should do a better job.

Section 222 said...

Wally/Grandstander/Drew8 -- I went to the game in Harrisburg last night (my reward for being in PA all weekend instead of at Nats Park). Great night there. Norris and Rhinehart both hit two bombs (and they were not cheap homeruns either), and Harper's two hits were both sharply hit liners. The Harper highlight was when he went 1st to third on a *groundout* to the shortstop. Truly amazing, though he will never get away with that in MLB. He just never broke stride coming around second and beat the throw to third easily with a hard slide.

Peacock was impressive. Consistently hit 93 mph on his fastball, according to the stadium radar gun (who knows how accurate it was?) He also and has a wicked breaking ball at around 74 or 75 mph. Even though he walked two batters, which apparently is alot for him, it's clear he has great command. I hope we see him in September in Nats Park.

On Werth, I seem to remember an early season game against the Brewers where he did basically the same thing -- stealing third, and then beating a throw home from Prince Fielder to win the game. It's very exciting when a guy takes over the game like that and essentially wins it single handed. Let's hope he starts hitting soon. The late game heroics wouldn't have been necessary if he had just singled in the 7th.

As for booing, I don't do alot of it personally, but I strongly believe if you pay to go to a baseball game that's one of the things you have a right to do. (Unlike standing up in front of other paying customers, which should be a capital offense.) Who knows, maybe the booing inspired Jason to do his thing in the 10th.

Nats Outsider said...

BZL--If a fan stands in the aisle at the end of the row, it is easy to block the view of the people in the rows behind. It depends on the angle in that section, of course, but I can assure you that it happens. People have complained when I have done it, and I have wanted to complain when others did it. I didn't say anything, because I knew the standees were trying to be polite, but it still blocked my view.

erocks33 said...

I've been taking my daughter to Nats games since the first homestand in 2005 when she was 2 weeks old. Had 20-game ticket plan but also went to many more games to average about 40+ per year. At no time, even with an infant, did I ever attempt to leave or return to my seat in the middle of a pitch. Sure, I did it in between pitches, but let's just say that that was because I timed it very well.

Once she was old enough to walk on her own, we were at Nats Park and coming back from getting refreshments and she started walking down the aisle towards our seats. I quickly caught up to her before she made it down the steps and told her that we needed to squat down and wait until there was a stoppage in play (speedy runner on first, so I knew there would be a number of throws that way in between pitches so this could take some time).

Thankfully, the batter grounded into a DP and the inning was over. As we were walking down to our seats (third row from the top), the folks sitting in the top two rows along the aisles thanked me for teaching my child the proper way to return to the seats during the game.

Dave said...

@Outsider, take another look at Bzl's comment.

TOP of the row. Don't come down the aisle when a batter is at bat. Bzl isn't talking about somebody standing in the aisle.

I agree with Bzl 100%, by the way. The ushers ought to do their jobs. One guy at section 313 occasionally does it right, but most of the ushers never bother.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I've gotten caught in the aisle occasionally, when sitting way down low. Not everyone can squat down in the aisle until the next break, but if one can, it does work.

natsfan1a said...

I'll second their thanks, erocks!

Dave said...

Hey, 1a, I'm going to the game tonight, and I decided to unearth my Wilkerson #7 T-shirt from the closet.

Reasoning: We're playing the Cubs, who have Soriano in the outfield. We got Soriano from Texas in exchange for Wilky.

Jim Webster said...

Best. Posts. Ever.
Love the etiquette explained by the genuine fans here.
Sitting in a back row (313) with concessions behind, it's necessary from time to time to ask folks politely to stop shouting into their cell phones.

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Speaking of fans talking about anything but the game. I had two young women behind me complaining non stop about their boss. (it really got to the point of being ridiculous.) Obviously the boss was an older lady from all they were saying. They were very rude about her. Finally at the 7th inning stretch of the first game I stood and turned around and told them, that I would try and straighten my wife, their boss, up so that she can become a better boss when you all return to work Tuesday. Talk about shutting them up, that worked like a charm.

natsfan1a said...

That's very funny, Manassas! (And good call, Dave.)

Manassas Nats Fan said...

Speaking of Soriano I saw 2 people Saturday with National Soriano shirts on.

Dave said...

"Speaking of Soriano I saw 2 people Saturday with National Soriano shirts on."

Late-comers. Bandwagoners.

natsfan1a said...

Poseurs. :-D

The Great Unwashed said...

What Section 222 said about booing. My thoughts exactly.

I guess I disagree with most of the posters on this thread about Werth. Look, he won the game yesterday. Good for him. But, to me, he's not living up to the $126 million he's being paid. I don't know anything about the intangibles he brings to the team and in the clubhouse but I understand he's well regarded for that. Well, he better for $126 million. But I expect him to be swinging with two strikes. I expect him to be hitting better than .225. And I understand why he's getting booed. And I say this while readily admitting that I was glad when he signed.

As for Buster Olney's thoughts about bad contracts, he seems to be forgetting about Barry Zito, Carlos Zambrano, and Alfonso Soriano for starters.

Cwj said...

Great comments about ballpark etiquette etc.

I've always preferred the upper decks of various parks where the angle is steeper and my view is less likely to be blocked. I also just like the view from way up top.
Although at the old Yankee Stadium I got rather dizzy from the very steep angle.

Navy Nats Fan said...

Well, after reading all the comments about etiquette, my only thought is that all the people around you talking about things other than baseball won't bother you if you are listening to Charlie and Dave through your earbuds. I really like seeing it happen and then having them call it after the 7 second delay. Of course, it doesn't work well when I have my family with me.

natsfan1a said...

I tried the ballpark radio thing once, but couldn't get decent reception (probably a function of the unit). Also, I do enjoy discussing the game with my companion(s), and it can be fun to strike up a baseball-related conversation with strangers, whether they be home or opposing fans. Nice that baseball gives us a conversational common denominator.

Speaking only for myself, I don't get really exercised about non-game-related conversations around me, though they have on occasion made good fodder for amusing anecdotes after the fact (so then she said, "Why don't they leave the field? That guy caught the ball, so the inning should be over. What? They have to get *three* outs? I wish this game would just end." - yeah, sorry, it was a female in that case, although I've overheard clueless dudes as well :-)).

Anonymous said...

OK, the last palce Marlins are making moves. Mike Cameron will catch everything hit near him and he is likely to hit much better with more PT and a new start in Miami. It would be very nice to see the Nats add a lefty power bat who can play OF (Ankiel is not the answer), or a lefty BP arm, or maybe even something shinier. The club should (for once) be bold and get out ahead of the curve to add what it thinks it needs going forward to make a run at the Wild Card in 2011. They don't have to mortgage the future to make this club much better right now; Rizzo needs to get on his horse and earn his money.


Jim Webster said...

Dave said... "One guy at section 313 occasionally does it right, but most of the ushers never bother."
You seem to be referring to the indomitable Kalvin Webb, who was honored by the FO as usher of the month for May. Give him a big thank you.

Dave said...

Jim, is that the younger guy who usually stations himself at the top of the aisle between 313 and 314? He is good. He's into the game. That makes a difference.

Kalvin Webb said...

Yes it is I, Kalvin Webb and I will continue to do my best to make each game a joyous one win or lose. Sometime I wish I could tell these guys of but I must uphold a professional approach with those careless individuals. My section has real baseball fans who in fact teach me a lot about the game

Dave said...

Kalvin, I am very grateful for your good work. I'm lucky I've got seats in your section (313). I'll be there next on Sunday.

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