Opening Night Eve Eve

Nationals leave Viera on winning noteFlorida Today
Nationals say goodbye to Viera in 2008Florida Today
Lannan leaves in fine formThe Wash. Times
The Nationals finished up spring training yesterday, beating the cowardly, hated Orioles, before flying back home. John Lannan pitched well again and has made a strong case for being the first pitcher added to the rotation when it expands to five.

Nats Enjoy An Evening In the ParkThe Post
“It’s even better than any of us thought it would be.” – Ryan Zimmerman

After landing at Dulles, the players, who dressed for the occasion, were bused to Nationals Park for the first time. JD got lots of photos on Near Southeast DC Redevelopment.

The park lots wonderful, the bunting is up, the logos are painted, beautiful!

Acta to Catch Bush’s First PitchThe Post
Nats’ manager to cover homeThe Wash. Times
An awkward situation has been averted, Paul Lo Duca, prominent in The Mitchell Report on performance enhancing drugs in baseball will not receive the ceremonial first pitch from President Bush on Sunday night. Manny Acta will get the honor which makes sense since the president has criticized drug abuse in baseball.

In case you were looking forward to the awkwardness, don’t worry Lo Duca and starting pitcher Odalis Perez have a past (D.C. Sports Bog) together.

Williams Was Starter, But Fenty Gets the ‘W’The Post
Nationals Park was former mayor Anthony A. Williams‘ baby. He, along with Ward 2 councilman Jack Evans, pulled off getting MLB to come here. The city council, including current mayor Adrian Fenty, nearly killed it, but it eventually got through. While Fenty, who has since become a champion of the ballpark, will get the honors of presiding over Opening Night as mayor, Williams will be sitting with his wife in row W in seats he paid for himself.

It would be a nice gesture for Mayor Fenty to include Mayor Williams in some of the pageantry.

Dukes Is Granted Day Off to Handle Legal TroublesThe Post
Dukes’ charge droppedThe Free Lance-Star
Elijah Dukes has one less thing to worry about — his first-degree misdemeanor charge for violating a restraining order was dropped.
Florida Today

THOMAS BOSWELLHouse of RepresentativenessThe Post
Remember the other day when Bos was complaining that Nationals Park would hurt the team? Well, I told you he’d be singing the praises of it and sure enough, he is raving about it today.

Nationals unveil new monument in ’08 NL openerUSA Today
Another preview of Nationals Park.

A Guide to Nationals ParkThe Post
An interactive guide to the ballpark.

In Signature Style, Lerners Strive To Make Ballpark Fan-FriendlyThe Post
Must fight urge to be cynical…will leave it for Capitol Punishment
The Lerner family has added many touches to the ballpark, like cherry trees (that may not be blooming on Sunday), that will give it more of a personality than the “out-of-the-box” design.

Metro to Lease Parking Spots to NationalsThe Post
Ballpark, Race, Blossoms To Test Parking ProwessThe Post
Parking, parking, parking.

New park’s pitch: Good food, for a changeThe Wash. Times
The Nats Free Food Tour – D.C. Sports Bog,
Strike Zone–Ballpark Concessions TourNats320
New Ballpark Interior Photos From Today; Press Release from Metro on Getting to GamesNear Southeast DC Redevelopment
Food will cost more, but it will taste better. The soda will not taste as good, becase they switched to Coke from Pepsi. The beer will just cost more.

‘I Helped Build the Stadium’The Post
Quotes and video form men and women who built Nationals Park.

Blue White Roundtable will appear around lunchtime.

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