Thursday, April 24, 2008

Random Thoughts While Waiting For Ray King's Release

1) Nice crowd there last night. Though the place was dead. Not sure if it's the lousy team, the segregated seats or what, but the place really hasn't had much atmosphere in any of the games I've been to this year. At least the Mets fans were there to spice it up a bit.

2) The lines for ticket-buyers were long, and plenty of people reported problems waiting half-an-hour in line. That's silly.

I went around to the waterfront side, by the staircase entrance -- what a waste of a nice entrance -- and there's a small window there that was mostly empty.

3) I took Metro home for the second time. Last time I do that. I live off the blue line in Alexandria. Once Colome came in the game, I left. Not gonna sit through his crap!

So it was a 10-minute wait for them to close the doors at Navy Yard. A 20 minute wait for the Yellow line at Infant Plaza. Then a 11-minute wait for the blue line at Braddock Road. It took me ~75-90 minutes to get home. I'm driving next time. (There are parking spots within a ~15-minute walk)

4) Any night with chili nachos is a good night. No, that's not quite right. Any night with chili nachos can't be truly terrible. The lines seemed relatively short. It seems like they've done a good job getting their handle on that, a bit.

5) DO NOT GET THE FISH AND CHIPS. I REPEAT. DO NOT GET THE FISH AND CHIPS. That they're serving these things and charging $8.50 is a farking embarrassment. It's about 5 small, lipstick-sized tubes of fish sticks. Those are NOT fish and chips. I don't care if it's a flash-fried generic pressed-fish fillet, but what they're serving now is icky.

6) I'm up in 405, and the seats aren't too bad. Can't say that I love them. But they could be worse. My seats are on one of the expansion joints, which they've covered with a giant piece of rubber -- basically a big floor mat. It's usually wet there, but the biggest problem is that the seats aren't quite level, and I'm pretty sure it's not my fat ass pushing it to one side.

7) I like the improvements they've made to the scoreboard. The ball/strike pitch count thing is excellent. The pitch speed is great. The scoring decision is terrific -- although our scorer usually scores games drunk. I love the emphasis on on-base and slugging, especially on the ribbon boards -- though another location might be nice, perhaps at the other end of the ribbon boards?

Last night, they started putting up 'fun' facts -- Did you know that Ryan Church is 9th in the league in runs scored? No? Nor did we care. That's fine once a game, but they kept it up intermittently, when they should've been recapping the player's previous ABs. (I'd also suggest a way for them to keep average/onbase/slugging on the main board somewhere, but I ain't gonna complain too much.)

8) Last night, the PA guy started giving R/H/E/LOB totals as a recap at the end of each half-inning. Not sure I like that, or see the point of it, but whatever. Interesting that he now gives the score updates as much as Chuck!

9) I really hate the ramps. They're graded too shallow, so it takes a good 5-10 minutes to walk up -- and I'm a fast walker. They've got the one escalator near the LF foul pole. Is there another? There should be.

My biggest complaint about that, though, is the staircase. I'll take it down when I'm hunting for my chili nachos (it's tucked in a little alcove behind 3B opposite the elevator). But the doors are no reentry, so you can't get back up without taking the ramp or escalator. I don't know why they can't leave them open. If you need to post a guard, post one. they've certainly got enough ticket nazis around -- especially in those empty sections in RF. You so much look at the section and they're shooing you away! (I wish they'd spend more time not letting people back down into the seating sections until between innings or pitching changes)

10) I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks.


  • If you're seated in the upper level behind home plate you can't see the ribbon boards that show average, slugging etc. That needs to be shown on the multimillion dollar, biggest scoreboard ever. They're only along the baselines...

    Why no replays, like the Castillo hit that scored the tying run?

    Concession lines were pretty tough, which is probably b/c the stadium was pretty full for the first time since opening day.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/24/2008 11:10 AM  

  • I was there last night too. A couple of comments:

    2- lines were long, and the machines are awful. I used them once to pick up pre-paid tickets and they were great. Buying tickets is horrible. The on-screen button for "other price levels" (as in, cheaper) didn't work at all.

    4- I was in section 310, and went for a hot dog after the third inning. The lines were all the way across the councourse. It took me half an inning to get through a seven person line at the beer stand, giving up my hot dog until the seventh. They HAVE to figure this out.

    7- Scoreboard definitely better

    9- I found another escalator next to the ramp down the right field line. It's tucked in and VERY easy to miss- between the ramp and the seating bowl. And the upper escalator down the left field line had metro disease early last night, making everyone take the ramps.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/24/2008 11:10 AM  

  • "I'm up in 405"

    Sweet, now I know where im going to throw my turds at.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/24/2008 11:12 AM  

  • On replays: this team shows as many if not more replays than most teams.

    They don't show close or controversial plays because the league has a rule against it. You don't want to rile up the fans. (or in our case, wake them)

    I guess I got lucky with the lines. Lines seemed shorter... doesn't mean it was faster though!

    On the ribbon boards, that's a good point. The solution would be to put them at the far end of the ribbon board, too. Those should be visible from most seats.

    The fonts they were using for Inning and with the team logo was a bit confusing if you just stared at it. It was hard to tell whether it was the 9th inning or if the Mets had 9 runs, for example.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/24/2008 11:13 AM  

  • And I know that the relief pitcher "has to get the job done" but I've never seen the first five runs of a game score on balls hit on the ground that didn't leave the infield. King confused them and the dribblers were unlucky. Without the english on the Church nubber, Zimmerman throws him out and the threat is probably put down. I'd give King one more chance...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/24/2008 11:14 AM  

  • Zimmerman took a weird angle to it regardless of english. But he did need to eat the ball there. He tried to do too much, but what else is new?

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/24/2008 11:16 AM  

  • On TV, last night's game looked like the only booming business in DC was the empty seat suit retailer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/24/2008 11:38 AM  

  • I went last night as well. I would add:

    5 b.) Do NOT get the chicken tenders (unless you like your chicken paper-thin and covered in a greasy, soggy breading.)

    7. Another improvement: the ribbon boards now display OBP to the left of SLG, as God intended.

    I sat in the scoreboard pavilion seats last night (my dad was really interested in trying them). With no view of the giant scoreboard, I really missed the radar gun, pitch counts, etc. I also missed all the plays near the wall between CF and the RF foul line. $27 bucks (minus $5 for Wash Post Wednesdays). Last time I sit there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/24/2008 12:20 PM  

  • (11) where the hell ARE the cherry trees?

    By Blogger DCPowerGator, at 4/24/2008 12:25 PM  

  • "On TV, last night's game looked like the only booming business in DC was the empty seat suit retailer"

    Anonymous, you fail to realize that most of the top decks were full and people failed to fill the seats behind/ close to homeplate because they are outrageously expensive (up in the tops of the league). We did have a healthy crowd of about 32,000 and it would probably have been more if the Lerners werent such bastards.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/24/2008 12:39 PM  

  • You're right about parking. If the city isn't enforcing parking violations (and even if they are it's only $20), there's plenty of parking between the stadium and the neighborhood by Garfield Park.

    By Blogger Steven, at 4/24/2008 1:06 PM  

  • "You're right about parking. If the city isn't enforcing parking violations (and even if they are it's only $20), there's plenty of parking between the stadium and the neighborhood by Garfield Park."

    You can park on the otherside of the 395 bridge and it's 2 hour parking till 8:30, which means if you get there at 6:30, you're gold. Not sure they can put the same RFK restrictions up given the commercial sector there: congressional fundraisers galore, Cap Hill club etc. Different patrons than those who like Al's on East Cap.

    And there's also a $15 lot under the bridge, which makes it almost as cheap and a lot quicker than a couple or family who metros.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/24/2008 1:16 PM  

  • Very glad to hear that they've moved SLG to the right of OBP on the ribbon boards. That it was ever reversed shows that they don't have a real baseball fan doing this stuff. Who would ever list AVG/SLG/OBP?

    Interesting point, Chris, about the replays. I always am wanting more replays, but it probably is the close plays where you really want them. Prohibiting those replays really is a stupid rule. Even with the rule, I feel like they could show, for example, every opposing batter strike out. Most fans can't see the actual pitch location. Likewise, let's see some in game highlights, like Guzzie's double when he comes up the next time.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 4/24/2008 1:27 PM  

  • 2) I had a pretty long wait at that window by the waterfront entrance. On the other hand, this guy in front of me was trying to upgrade his seats using some coupon.

    3) Chris, have you tried the walk up to cap south? It takes about 10 minutes, and then you could catch the blue line direct. You are also practically guaranteed a seat.

    4) I’m not a chili nachos kinda guy.

    5) Thanks for the warning.

    6) Have you tried the standing room area next to the red roof bar? Good view of the strike zone, nice counters. Other than not being able to see the screen, great place to watch a game.

    8) At least it’s a baseball related announcement.

    9) There elevators usually don’t seem to have very long lines. I haven’t tried one yet.

    By Blogger Ironic Goat, at 4/24/2008 2:27 PM  

  • If you're taking the Blue Line home from the game, you shouldn't be using the Navy Yard station in the first place. Walk to Capitol South and get on the Blue Line directly. The walk is well lit, safe, and you won't be alone. Even Dmitri Young, fat as he is, could make that 15 minute walk with only one - two at most - stops to gasp for breath. Didn't we already establish that your fat ass is no match for Dmitri's, Chris? Take your fat ass and walk it to Capitol South, where you won't have to wait long for a Blue Line train to come by, and more often than not you'll probably end up being able to plop your fat ass into a seat for your ride home.

    I've done this exact thing going home from games three times this year, with the only difference being that I'm on the Orange Line rather than the Blue. Every time I've had a seat on the train and have gotten home sooner than I would have last year taking Orange all the way from RFK.

    By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 4/24/2008 3:23 PM  

  • When I park, I walk about that distance. I can make it!

    The catch is, I was trying to take the Infant to Pentagon yellow-line shortcut that I used to take when I rode in to work. Pick the blue back up there (or anywhere down to King) and you save a few minutes than riding the blue all the way up and through Rosslyn.

    Except when you have to wait 20 mins at each place to catch a stinking train.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 4/24/2008 3:26 PM  

  • Chris - You didn't get a release but would optioning him to Columbus be acceptable?

    By Blogger Brian, at 4/24/2008 4:52 PM  

  • this just in: Nats option King to Columbus; recall O'Connor.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/24/2008 4:57 PM  

  • It's never a good idea to make one Metro line transfer during non-peak hours if you can avoid it, much less two of them as you described. Train changes do not happen quickly during non-peak hours like they do during rush hour. OTOH, trains run at the same speed all the time. So if you can replace a line change with a few minutes of walking and even some extra time on the train, you'll always be better off.

    And if you must drive, the RFK shuttle is the way to go. I did it last night because the friend I went to the game with was driving. Works great. Add 15 minutes to however long it takes you to drive to RFK, and you're there. Not to mention that (at least for now) it's free!

    By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 4/24/2008 5:27 PM  

  • and no one noted that the Pope being there obviously didn't help the Nats .. I was hoping for a miracle

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/24/2008 5:27 PM  

  • The Lerners (and Kasten too) are Jewish. They're still waiting for the savior to come.

    By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 4/24/2008 5:28 PM  

  • Oh great Grim Reaper of the horsehide can you do something about Rob Mackowiak now!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/24/2008 5:33 PM  

  • Anonymous, you fail to realize that most of the top decks were full and people failed to fill the seats behind/ close to homeplate because they are outrageously expensive (up in the tops of the league).

    I DID say TV right? From the CF camera there were as many empty seats as filled ones. It doesn't look good that was my only point.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/24/2008 5:34 PM  

  • Wow Chris called it! (almost).

    It's ok to do a little gloating now...

    By Blogger Steven, at 4/24/2008 5:49 PM  

  • I was enjoying the game last night, especially with NO CLINT doing his tiring schtick. That part alone made my night. My girl and i were hoping that maybe they'd fired his ass and the sorority chicks that make up the bush league "Nat Pack", but alas, there he was in the 6th screaming into the microphone as they shot t-shirts into the stands, probably the liveliest the crowd was all night.

    That guy is practically begging for someone to punch him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/24/2008 5:52 PM  

  • FWIW, I used to work down around Cap South and parked an out-of-zone car on 4th St. on the blocks between D and F, and got like 1 ticket in 4 years. Maybe they're cranking up enforcement on Nats games, but that's a 15 minute walk, so I doubt it.

    By Blogger Steven, at 4/24/2008 6:02 PM  

  • Well, actually I still work there, but no longer park an out-of-zone car.

    By Blogger Steven, at 4/24/2008 6:03 PM  

  • I live near RFK, and if they're enforcing the zone regs during games down there like they did in this neighborhood during Nats games, you won't just get ticketed-- you get towed. No fun taking a cab to the impound lot after the game.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 4/24/2008 10:43 PM  

  • Parking: I'm not so much worried about parking tickets, I'm worried about my car being in one piece when I return to it. And the contents intact. That's my biggest worry.

    By Blogger Bote Man, at 4/25/2008 8:58 AM  

  • Chris,

    News for you on Metro:

    They're now running "Blue Line Specials" through L'enfant plaza south after the games...

    I've been going to/from King street for 8 games now, it's consistently between 25 and 35 minutes from king street to the entrance of the park. At 6PM, there's no way you'll drive that, not even at RFK...

    Anyhoo, if metro keeps up the blue line special/shortcut after games, you're golden

    Oh, and the comment about cap south is accurate as well - did that walk one night during the cubbies series, was only about 10 mins, I just followed the crowd of about 300 folks going to the same place.

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