Monday, March 31, 2008

Nats Safe at Home


I walked to the new National's Stadium in DC from the National Mall, and it was a nice 25 minute walk to a dream site for DC. It was a perfect way to start a new season, when hope for a great season in a renovated neighborhood is at its peak. Oh yes, I miss RFK with its history and its claim to be the first home that ended DC's baseball draught. But what is passed is past.

The new stadium is a cross between the new Phillies Stadium and the recent-retro Orioles Park, with more of the Phillies modern look. Announcer Jon Miller apparently called the Nats Stadium the "La Scala of ballparks," while the Washington Post architecture critic called it a "missed opportunity" and an utilitarian means of sucking money from fan's wallets. It is somewhere in the middle of those comments.

The bright new park with the huge TV hi-def screen/scoreboard was a perfect setting for the perfect ending to a game. A passed ball allowed the Braves to tie the game in the visitors' half of the ninth, and a walk-off home run for Ryan Zimmerman with two outs in the bottom half of the ninth won the game for the Nats. It was a magical scriptwriter's ending to the beginning of what hopes to be a magical season (but I know that all seasons open with that potential for magic).

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