Monday, April 05, 2010

You're Winning 'Em Over, Stanley

I'd like to associate myself with every word of this post.  Good ol' Nate beat me to it.

This was Opening Day. The game that was supposed to showcase Mike Rizzo's rebuilt, revitalized Nationals. I've seen a lot of embarrassing things on and off the field over six years of Nats fandom, but I was never embarrassed to be a fan of this franchise until today.

This one isn't bad either.

But I am mad. Mad at the people that hide behind the bad team. Front Office, Ownership, Jim Riggleman, The Puppet Masters, whatever you want to call them, I don’t care. What took place at Nationals Park this afternoon has to be absolutely insulting and infuriating to what is left of the Washington Nationals fan base. I have never seen a team go to such lengths to completely alienate its own fan base.

Yeah yeah yeah. Mark Lerner aches inside at the loss. He hurts so much.

They lost to Ol' Roy. That's going to happen. But they lost big. They lost embarrassingly. And they lost in front of a Philly crowd. Heck of a job there, Stanley.

But what do they care. Figure, to be conservative, the average patron is pooping and peeing out a bunch of concessions tonight and add that to the ticket prices. $50 average seem fair? $50 X 42,000 tickets and they're looking at grossing $2 million bucks.

That's a hell of a consolation prize.


  • My conniptions started even before the game when the loudmouthed Phillies fan behind me, sporting a 2009 NL East Champions shirt (with the sleeves ripped off for maximum pit aeration), declared of Nats Park: "This is our house." He then proceeded to call out the first name of each Phillies player when he was introduced (Chad! Cole!) and boo for the Nats introductions, starting with the training staff.

    I still feel like murder.

    By Blogger Kevin Reiss, at 4/05/2010 9:04 PM  

  • No grand jury outside of the Philly/South Jersey metroplex would even return an indictment.

    By Blogger Nate, at 4/05/2010 9:19 PM  

  • Considering I was told by Nats ticketing staff that tix were sold out 7 minutes after they went on sale yet every person on Philadelphia seemed to get one, I think it's clear that the Nats wholesaled packages to Philly tour groups to avoid last years public humiliation of public groveling to Philly fans. I have a hard time believing all those pennsylvania registered tour buses parked on Maine ave just so happened to get lucky on buying tix and then organized a trip down.

    Stan, Ted, Mark, Shame on you.

    By Anonymous Ed, at 4/05/2010 9:20 PM  

  • All aboard the bus! This one is on Stan.

    I just kept hoping one of those snipers up on the roof would put me out of my misery.

    By Anonymous The Nationals Enquirer, at 4/05/2010 9:34 PM  

  • It's cheaper & easier to import somebody else's fan base than it is to build your own. This was a truly lousy experience for a Nats fan. Next year, let the Lerners figure out how to import 41,000 from Philly. They'll need 'em.

    By Blogger Suz, at 4/05/2010 9:41 PM  

  • Boy am I glad the wife and I opted out of this one. It wasn't nearly as bad as described with the Philly fans last year on Opening Day.

    The fan base is crumbling. Our season ticket group received one ticket voucher for every two tiskets we bought, meaning my 20 pairs of tickets has essentially turned into 30 pairs, 50% more free! If they are doing that you know they are in trouble with the fanbase.

    By Anonymous bdrube, at 4/05/2010 10:30 PM  

  • With the combination of the Phillies fans COMPLETELY taking over Nats Park to the absolutely horrific performance by the Nats themselves, this is honestly one of the most embarassing sporting events i've ever been a part of, the others being nearly every game i attended last year.

    With today's debacle, the Lerner family has pretty much destroyed the last embers of what they could have turned into a really great thing when they bought the team

    Nobody gives a shit about the Nats around here, they are a national joke, and that fact starts with the ownership and of course includes Stan Kasten.

    I am disgusted, but thanks for always keeping it real with this franchise Chris. Glad you came back for more misery. Keep up the good work.

    By Anonymous Natzzzzzz, at 4/05/2010 11:50 PM  

  • How did Phillies fans get all the tickets? It just doesn't make sense. There was a presale of tickets days before they officially opened. Did Phillies find out about it more than Nats fans? Were there that many tickets available in the first 7 minutes of the official sale and Phillies fans just got to them all? Something doesn't add up. Someone needs to ask Stan.

    I mean, Saturday was 80% Red Sox fans, but hey, I figured that made sense. The Nats fans will all be going to the real home opener and the Boston fans came down for this.

    But where were the Nats fans today? WTF?

    By Anonymous cass, at 4/05/2010 11:56 PM  

  • Oh, and one more thing. And this is the first time i've said this in 5 years, but until ownership starts making a move to right this godawful mess we have here, my wallet and i will not be spending another afternoon or evening in Nationals Park. I have had enough.

    By Anonymous Natzzzzzz, at 4/06/2010 12:00 AM  

  • "Oh, and one more thing. And this is the first time i've said this in 5 years, but until ownership starts making a move to right this godawful mess we have here, my wallet and i will not be spending another afternoon or evening in Nationals Park. I have had enough."

    Yeah. I reached that exact sentiment a year ago. Me and a bunch of friends (most of whom were friends made in section 406 of RFK in 2005) were at the opener last year, and to a man, we said "I think I'd rather have gone to that staff meeting today than come here." On a beautiful opening day.

    It takes a lot to ruin that, but the nats have. It makes me very sad.

    By Blogger Kevin Rusch, at 4/06/2010 12:16 AM  

  • Cass, do a Google search for "Phillies Opening Day 2010 Bus Trip."

    Back in January, there were several web sites that were selling ticket packages to Phillies fans. The Nationals made group sales to them. They sold these blocks of tickets to Phillies fans back in January--well before the public onsale date. Which led to the remaining seats being sold out in 7 minutes when they went on sale, as you mention.

    I've never heard of Opening Day tickets made available through group sales. Much less group sales to the visiting team's fans. Pathetic.

    By Blogger CoverageisLacking, at 4/06/2010 12:28 AM  

  • Ok, so who's going to bring in signs decrying Stan's selling out Nats park and leaving Nats fans without tickets?

    Shouldn't this be as big a deal as the suing season ticket holders was to the Redskins? I don't see this anywhere in the media.

    Do we need to come with bags over our heads? Should we go with "Stan's a sellout" chants?

    By Anonymous cass, at 4/06/2010 12:48 AM  

  • I work in the tourism department for a sport (not the Nats I swear). We regularly allow tourist groups to buy tickets before public sale. It means you can charge a royalty on the tickets. So you get the ticket, the royalty, as well as clips on the hotel, bus and anything else they buy as part of the trip (merchandise etc). The difference is, in my sport, we cap it at 10% of the crowd, and that includes packages for home fans!! If they have sold over 25% of the stadium to out of town NON Nats fans, it's a disgrace, and I can promise you, it's a business model that won't succeed in the long term. I've seen it go pear shaped, and it's not pretty.

    By Anonymous Gus, at 4/06/2010 4:50 AM  

  • I can tell you how 2 phillies fans got tickets: they paid me 10x the face value for my pair.

    Past 3 years, I went to great lengths to avoid selling my tickets to opposing teams' fans. But the team the Nats FO put on the field for opening day was a joke, and damn if I was going to pay for the privilege sit through what I knew would be a punishing loss. Not when Stan INVITES philly down here. And not when I can subsidize 25% of the cost of my ENTIRE season ticket package in one fell swoop. I'd rather that $$ go in my pocket than Teddys. And I regret not cashing in on every BoSox, Yankees, Phillies etc game I could've in the past.

    Sorry if I offend. But the moment Obama put on that Sox hat, I knew I had made the right decision.

    By Anonymous Softball Girl, at 4/06/2010 9:51 AM  

  • what gets me - I've never had a season ticket plan before and I've never been to an Opening Day. After a lot of thought and weighing, I went in on a fairly expensive ticket plan right along first base. The ticket plan included Opening Day (part of the reason why I decided to splurge) with the qualifier that Opening Day seats might not be in the usual season tickets.
    So I ended up way the heck out in the left stands in the midst of 3-4 sections that were solidly Phillies fans. It strongly felt that the Nationals were plugging up seats that they couldn't sell to the package groups by giving them to the season ticket holders regardless of whether it was a comprable value for actual season ticket package.

    This is the way that the Nationals treat their season ticket base? Lousy seats way out in the outfield in the midst of blocs sold to out-of-towners?

    I have half a mind to send the rest of the season tickets back with a note saying "no thanks".

    By Blogger Andy, at 4/06/2010 10:12 AM  

  • If any of you would like to voice your complaints about yesterday to that empty suit windbag Stan Kasten, his email address is

    I've emailed him, and i hope all of you will too. I agree with everyone on this board, yesterday was an absolute disgrace on so many levels.

    By Anonymous MikeinDC, at 4/06/2010 7:03 PM  

  • I dunno. Last year's Opening Day didn't sell out and the stadium's a ghost town for enormous swathes of the season, so I find it pretty tough to get bent out of shape about the team's effort to sell tickets to anyone who will buy.

    I realize I wasn't there to suffer through it so maybe I lack perspective. In fact, this was the first Opening Day I've missed since the team came to DC. Just seemed like too much of a downer for the money/time/hassle.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 4/06/2010 10:24 PM  

  • Sam-all i can say is you should have been there my friend. You should have been there. You have no idea.

    By Anonymous MikeinDC, at 4/06/2010 11:55 PM  

  • Is it true that the Philly fans booed Zimmerman when he got his Silver Slugger and Gold Glove? That's a new low, even for them. I cannot imagine going to another team's park and booing their star player being presented with a major award, no matter how great our road-fan numbers. MAYBE if the player was a major tool and of questionable ethics (i.e. if they were presenting Bonds with something), but a great all-around player and stand-up guy like Zimmerman? How the hell do you boo him?

    By Blogger Carl, at 4/07/2010 12:26 AM  

  • I was at the very first Opening Day at Oriole Park thanks to a buddy who had the foresight to get onto the season ticket bandwagon in the late days of Memorial Stadium. We got the exact same (crappy) seats for Opening Day as the rest of the season, all the way at the tippety-top of the grandstand looking straight down the third base line. They actually were not the worst seats you could get, come to think of it, but they didn't move us around to accomodate others.

    They also printed up special commemorative tickets made of thick card stock and of course did not rip or mutilate them in any way as they were keepsakes. At least even the evil grinch Peter Angelos and his minions understood something of the situation.

    I hear that Phillies phans drink from paper cups because they have no glass. Or is it no class???

    By Blogger Bote Man, at 4/07/2010 1:42 PM  

  • Fair enough Mike.

    It's hard to argue with the sentiment Adam Kilgore has put out that, as a general matter, when your fans are leaving Opening Day this unhappy, something's gone seriously awry.

    Beyond hoping for better than ok from John Lannan.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 4/07/2010 3:59 PM  

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