WASHINGTON, D.C. — I made it to my first Opening Day in Washington. I had a great time, despite the 7-1 loss (The Post) but I don’t doubt that last year’s was much better. I could have gone for more pageantry. I hope to have photos up tomorrow, but it may take a few days.
“WHERE’S OUR OWNER?!” Well, that idea did not work. I tried to get the chant started in section 505, but only a few people got on board. Further up in section people tried to restart the chant, but to no avail. Oh well…
WHERE WAS CHARLIE? Charlie Brotman, the former Senators p.a. announcer was not on hand for any of the festivities. This was the first time he missed an opening day since 1956, when Eisenhower was president. Why Charlie was not involved, I cannot say. You may recall a feature story I wrote about him before last year’s opening day.
The attendance at the game was announced as 40,000+, while The Post said it was a sellout of over 43,000.
Riding in on the Orange Line, we noticed two guys with Aramark badgers from different ballparks on them. I engaged them in conversation and discovered they were nomadic vendors who went where ever Aramark sent them. They had to provide their own lodging, but Aramark took care of the rest. One was in Philly last week, while other was in Denver. One said, “I work three hours a day, eight months a year and spend the rest of time on the beach.”
This might be a good idea it if you ever hit a brickwall in your life. There might be a book in there somewhere, I wonder William Least-Heat Moon would approve.
The pregame stuff was mostly inflatable amusements including a moon bounce, obstacle course, and climbing wall thing. I did not partake in the moonbounce, but did enjoy the others. Fritz declined.
The following radio stations had tables set up at the “carnival” — Magic 102 and WTEM. Not appearing, WTOP or WTWP. No MASN tables either.
I won a pizza on the WTEM prize wheel. Fritz won an advance auto parts hat.
We did not have to pass through metal detectors.
You can get nachos at Burrito Bros. on the first base side of the 300 level concourse. That is only place I could find that offered them, making the “Take me out to the nachos” t-shirts I saw a little disingenuous.
The hot dogs are either longer this year or the rolls are shorter. Apparently, in a number of places, they ran out.
The Army chorus was fantastic.
So was Placido Domingo, though I wonder if he is an American citizen yet.
The jets in the flyover looked like F-20s or some other really old fighter plane.
The fireworks leave something to be desired.
I was glad to see the Nationals wore their home whites, instead of their alternate red Sunday jerseys. I thought they might go red, since it was a special occasion, but thankfully they did not. It is very important that teams where their regular home jerseys on Opening Day and Sundays. The gimmicky stuff should be for night games.
The field looked better than at the exhibition game. Rain is good.
Nats starter Ramon Ortiz looked sharp through three, but lost it quickly. He might be better suited for long relief.
All winter long we heard GM Jim Bowden talk up the more powerful Nats offense and today we got to see it — 3 hits! Good job Jimbo.
Since last season we also heard Bowden talk “pitching, pitching, pitching,” yet the Nats do not have any. It is going to get ugly I am afraid, but at least it will almost certainly mean he is out of here.
Mets P Brian Bannister has had two excellent starts vs. Washington. Is he a pitcher to watch or does he just have the Nats number?
The Mets batting practice uniforms and hats are still awful.
I saw someone wearing a #9 Utah jersey. Somewhere in Arizona, there is a BeltwayLand transplant who just smiled upon learning that information.
I keep seeing a guy wearing a Nats jersey with this name.
The sound was not bad in 505, maybe they were right about improved acoustics.
We were sitting behind a guy from Baltimore who is a Nats fan. He says they hate Angelo$ up there too.
It is nice to see Billy Wagner have his troubles against the Nats.
That’s about all I can think of now. Here are a couple of articles:
Thousands spring for Nationals game – The Wash. Times
Mets’ Rookie Frustrates Nats in Opener – The Post
VP Dick Cheney (Yale
’63 dropout) was booed, before, during and after he threw his ceremonial first pitch in the dirt.