Dexy's Opening thoughts
So, maybe I am drinking too much of the kool-aid and maybe it is just so close in my mind, so take this with a grain of salt, but last night was possibly the most electric sporting event I've ever been a part of surpassing the World Series, Stanley Cup Finals, and various sports' playoff games. Not sure how to describe it, but it was incredible.
As far as the seats go, as SNV touched upon, I've never felt so lucky. Darrell Green was three seats down, John McCain afew seats from him. George Will a couple of rows behind us, Bob Novak and Fred Barnes about 8 rows directly behind us, and all of the Diamondbacks about as close as I am to my window right now. It was a DC who's who and for most of these guys, we were thinking the tix are their season tix as well. Something fun about knowing that you can go each night and shout "Hey Darrell Green, stop covering my beer and pass it down" (I stayed away from such a bad pun last night).
And I doubt one night will change SNV's mind that he is a White Sox fan with Nats tickets, but my fall into the full allegience camp was cemented last night. I just feel really proud to be in on the ground floor here. They may suck for a few years, butI can say I was 100% a fanatic from Day 1. I'll still root for the Mets to do well, but the Nationals are my team.
To touch on some of the highlights and lowlights as SNV did.
The game itself: First, I don't care if they say that the beaning of Vinny was unintentional. That's what you are supposed to say. It looked quite intentional, it was on the first pitch of a guy who is going for the cycle who hit a HR last at bat and took a curtain call. No one is going to convince me it wasn't intentional, and I think bush league. It's opening day for the first time in 34 years in a 5-0 April game and you aren't going to let a guy try for a freakin' single and get him out the real way? Absurd. Never would happen, but as I said to SNV last night, the only way I would believe it was unintentional is if Melvin went out there and apologized to Castilla and assured him it was unintentional--I know, never happens.
Second, Robinson managed a good game. The lineup I believe was the correct one (with the possibility that maybe Livan should have batted eighth), and I hope he sticks with it. He also took Livan out just when he should have. Give him the chance at the shutout, but once the 3 run jack comes, you take him out and let him rest until the next start.
Third, the fielding was quite good. You could tell the players were super excited about this game (even the Diamondbacks were somewhat excited), but they used that excitement to their benefit and didn't seem edgy at all. Not only did they make every play they should have, but they made a bunch of great plays as well, especially Nick Johnson.
Cristian Guzman: What can I say? I'm in a good mood so I will give him a pass...but his negative ERV just keeps growing and growing.
ERV: Really enjoyed that DM scored the game in ERV as we went along. A fun stat that gives you a lot of good insight as well as being intuitive.
Metro: Getting there was great. Easy and a lot of fun seeing all the fans. Getting home--ugh! Almost an hour just to get inside the Metro. The good news was that once we got in the station, we were on a car, and there were enough that it wasn't a sardine can. Hopefully, they are just working out a system. And since it seemed like absolutely NO ONE left the game until it was over, last night was (we think) as bad as it could get.
The Stadium: The field, great. The rest: Well...it's temporary, and my big hope is that they won't say "well, all the money goes into the new place, so we won't do anything at RFK for the three years." The place looks a bit like the Vet gone bad (redundant I know). They need a real scoreboard. They need out of town scores--SNV thought the lack of them was blasphemy. The K count was a pathetic waste of space (and WRONG! Who operated this thing?!?). The scores, ball and strike count, etc. were often wrong. I was shocked that since they used to have Redskin games and have DC United games, that there are no TVs showing you the game while on concession lines. They never wired for this?? As SNV said, the concessions (what they did have and didn't run out of) were lame and bad--Take RFK up on its policy--and BRING your food.
All in all though, I'd rather have those issues than others. As a night, it gets a 10+ on a scale of 1-10. And I proclaim myself......Buck Sez CHAMP OF THE WOOOOOOORLD!