I beg to differ

This is an AP photo posted from yesterday’s home opener:

Phillies Nationals Baseball
Washington Nationals catcher Jesus Flores can’t make the tag as Philadelphia Phillies’ Raul Ibanez is safe at home in the second inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park in Washington Monday, April 13, 2009.

And here’s my photo of the same play at the plate taken seconds earlier before both players tumbled off into the weeds:

picture-8

I wouldn’t say that looks like Jesus Flores couldn’t make the tag as it looks like he is tagging Ibanez whose foot is not touching home plate. Just my observation looking for silver linings.

Another great outcome of yesterday’s game was Little Chatter actually put some effort into learning to score and plugged away at it through 7 innings! That’s a first! He even said it was fun. I couldn’t be prouder 🙂

Boz called it

Milledge

In this morning’s column, Thomas Boswell had this to say about Milledge:

For example, the Nats are tired of Lastings Milledge, their 24-year-old center fielder, acting like a 10-year veteran who has earned a central position in their locker room when, in fact, he has accomplished little. When he doesn’t show up until 30 minutes before team stretching exercises or is late to a team meeting the day before Opening Day, it sends a bad message that honors are given before they are earned in the Nats’ world.

So don’t be surprised if, fairly soon, the Nats’ clogged outfield problem is solved, at least temporarily, in an unexpected way: by sending Milledge back to the minor leagues. He’s a gifted athlete but, both in center field and as a leadoff hitter, he is still an unpolished and undisciplined player. The Nats’ front office still refers to the zig-zag routes he runs to fly balls, like two more adventures yesterday, as “pass patterns” because he breaks in so many different directions. As a leadoff man, he seems to have no sense of his get-on-base role.

And the release just came out – Milledge has been optioned to AAA Syracuse. This will not only change the lineup arrangement, but the outfield defense as well. I would imagine Dukes will start in CF in place of Milledge, although not bat lead-off (a spot Milledge failed at so far this season). Can one player spark a turnaround?

Waiting and fading and floating away

Silversun Pickups released a new album today. Yay! New music! I thought I could use that as a pick-me-up after the home opener yesterday bringing the waiting for a win to 7 games. The headline song from the album, Panic Switch, had me laughing on the drive into work this morning. “Can you fall asleep with a panic switch?” Perusing the Natosphere the last few days, I’ve observed a few with their hands poised over the panic switch. When is time to hit that puppy?

I’m not there yet – through thick and thin and all that, so I’ll just post some pluses and minuses from yesterday.

Positives:

  • Topps Lineup Cards in Centerfield Plaza – way cool!
  • MASN Nats X-Tra studio as a permanent fixture – watching the camera operator swing that camera on a long boom around and pan the crowd – also way cool!
  • Red Porch – looks like quite a few lines for tables, but get a $5 ticket early and hang out there for a game? Priceless
  • Seeing friends from previous seasons and saying hi! (Liz, Carolyn, Jeff, Colleen & Jeff, Scott, Lisa, Chartese, and Coach – my new usher)
  • A sellout crowd (makes for a more festive atmosphere and better more contrasty photos!)

Negatives:

  • By far, the worst negative was Phillies announcer Harry Kalas collapsing in the broadcast booth at the park prior to the game. Seriously.
  • The black hole for AT&T wireless that the whole area seems to be (still). I don’t think it’s the stadium specifically as I still had full bars at the parking lot (K) but was getting messages that I had no internet connection. (WFY, I tried to reach you when we got there!!)
  • Where’s the $!@% Old Bay?! No salt, no Old Bay = really boring french fries (I even checked multiple condiment stations). Had a mayo issue as well – asked the concessionaire to put mayo on my grilled chicken sandwich bun when I spotted the squeeze bottle next to her. She refused saying it was at the ketchup stand. Um, nope – not there! Mayo-less sandwich. Blah.
  • Errmm… the vending machines in the women’s restrooms could stand to be stocked.
  • Saul Rivera hitting two batters (like that, Dibble?) then allowing a home run to put the game out of reach
  • Cristian Guzman having a career game at the plate and pulling up lame in the last inning. Hopefully nothing serious!

04-13-09 Nats Home Opener [Pre-Game]

PRE_2134.jpg[ Photoset ] Photos from the pre-game ceremonies of the Nationals’ home opener on April 13, 2009. The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by a contingent of US Armed Service members to multiple Nats at the same time in lieu of President Obama, and a fleet of helicopters thumped over rather than the usual jets. Phillies announcer Harry Kalas collapsed and died hours before first pitch so a moment of silence was held pregame for him and pitcher Nick Adenhart who died in a car accident after his successful start last week for the Angels.