Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September 27, 2010: The Season's Low Point?

(Photo Courtesy Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Take the above image and try to find a Nationals fan. It's like playing "Where's Waldo?" Except Waldo is a Nationals fan. And there is no Waldo.

The picture pretty much summed up a rainy Monday night at Nationals Park. The rain only amplified the problem. The Phillies were playing for their 4th straight playoff appearance. The Nationals were playing for their 68th win, and absolutely nothing else. (The Phillies now only have 68 losses... adding significant insult to significant injury.) What incentive did Nats fans have to show up and sit through the rain?

Just as they did on Opening Day this season, there are plenty of people blaming outgoing Nationals President Stan Kasten for this influx of Phillies fans on Monday. You know who I'm blaming? The Washington Nationals. Mostly the players, not the front office. Let's face it: the Nats are terrible. They will once again have a top 10 pick in next year's amateur player draft. They once again have a staggering number of team errors and strikeouts. They once again have failed to keep star players that draw fans healthy (see: Strasburg, Zimmerman). They once again have failed to even flirt with .500 since before the All-Star break. Why should anyone waste their hard earned money to see a team like that play?

Well, long story short, the Phillies clinched the division. Roy Halladay (a.k.a. NL Cy Young, 2010) pitched another complete game; his 9th this season. This one was a shutout that only granted 2 Nationals players a hit: Wilson Ramos and Adam Dunn. The Phillies fans, as rude and obnoxious as ever, simply embarrassed Nationals players, Nationals fans, and the entire Nationals organization.

Monday night's 8-0 loss , although it was irrelevant to the season, was among the lowest points of 2010 for the Nationals franchise. Quite frankly, #1 is probably the day that Stephen Strasburg was shut down for good for the next 12 or so months. It doesn't get too much lower than that. But September 27, 2010 was pretty close. It was an insulting loss, in insulting fashion, amplified by insulting fans.

It's time to stop this 6:1 away-to-home fan ratio, and the only way to do that is by putting a competitive team on the field. Otherwise, teams with loyal, dedicated, and yes, annoying fans will forever outflank Nats fans to the ticket booth.


  1. and if all else fails, this was a pretty good idea to at least outnumber the Philthies: http://planetnj.net/nats/?p=514

    It's a good thing the season is ending, since I'm getting to a point of not caring. By March, my ignorant optimism may have returned.

  2. I think that's what most people are hoping for, KateKirk, next year. I appreciate what Planetary Nats Blog has to say, and I agree with it in principle. But in the end it's a business. How many people that went to yesterday's game will never go back? A few to be sure, but certainly not thousands. How much revenue would the organization lose giving away 20,000 tickets 9 times a year? Well, you do the math. It's a lot. No owner in their right mind would do that. So I think it's a really great thought, and I appreciate you posting it. I just think that, in practice, it doesn't work very well.