Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Opening Day

Last year opening day was a night game, and, although the weather wasn't great, the atmosphere was electric. Baseball had returned to Washington after a 30 year absence, and the sell-out crowd was euphoric. The fans were so excited that they gave even the equipment manager a standing ovation.

Now, one year later, opening day is a day game and the weather is beautiful.
It's a great day for a game, even though the atmosphere will be less combustible than last year. As of an hour ago, 9,000 tickets remained to be sold. In other words, a bit of the bloom is off this rose.

But just a bit. The Nationals were a huge hit last year, and it seems safe to conclude that baseball is here to stay. Were they to have a real owner, the team could exploit this environment and become one of the league's most valuable franchises.

There is still a lot of promise here, even more than is normal for a team on it's opening day.

2 comments:

angryoldnatsfan said...

"Were they to have a real owner, the team could exploit this environment and become one of the league's most valuable franchises."

But they still don't...and until they do, it's MLB that's exploiting DC and the fans.

Leiv & Erik said...

I could not agree more. We've been very critical of MLB, and there is no question that the Nats are now years behind where they would have been had they a real owner by the All Star Break last year. That was the moment when the franchise could have taken a substantial leap forward by making trades and using their large store of potential salary money to sign quality players. Instead, lacking an owner who could map a strategy, they did virtually nothing, and then saw some of their good players walk away while they couldn't fill the resulting (and preexisting) holes with other players. Instead of moving the franchise forward, MLB tried to take advantage of the team's surprising success, both on the field and off, by forcing the worst possible deal on the city and the fans. MLB deserves a lot of the blame for the Nationals' current predicament. In other words, we agree.