Thursday, August 04, 2005

It's Nice to Have an Owner

On Tuesday night I was lucky enough to attend the Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants game at SBC Park. The game was exciting, 4-3 Rockies, with the Giants leaving the tying and winning runs on base in the ninth inning. It was not well-played, though -- it had a fair share of miscues, like a balk, dropped pop-up, baserunning blunder, four-pitch walks to the pitcher, managerial head-scratchers, etc. It made me homesick for the Nats!

What I did not get homesick for, though, was RFK. I am one who has defended RFK, sort of, in that I think it is not as bad as most people claim. However, when confronted with a gem of a park like SBC, there is no defending RFK. Everything at SBC is better than RFK -- seats, sightlines, food, atmosphere, location, ticket purchases, everything. I had the best bratwust ever, on a sourdough roll. The park is part of the city, giving the place a great atmosphere before and after the game. Ticket purchase is outstandingly efficient -- the Giants run a service for season ticket holders to sell their unused tickets over the Internet -- I purchased two groups of 4 tickets in the upper reserved, right behind home plate, at 1:00 PM the day of game for about $25 per ticket. And there were even better seats available than that. The only complaint I had is the scoreboard, which is cluttered and doesn't show you enough information about the opposing pitcher or what the batter did in his previous at bats.

The difference, it seems to me, is the presence of an active owner. There is a sense of purpose behind the ballpark and the Giants franchise that is utterly lacking here in D.C. It seems plain to me that the Giants, 6.0 games out of the weak NL West, have little to no chance at the postseason. Yet they still were buyers on the trade market last week, picking up Randy Winn from Seattle to replace Marquis Grissom, which improved their club. The fans around us were enthusiastic and optimistic, but realistic too. They seemed to genuinely appreciate the ownership and the players, and their good fortune to be watching baseball in such a wonderful place.

I hope the Nats are sold soon, and the new owners immediately take a trip out west to study how the Peter Magowan and the Giants do things, to start the process of building goodwill and enthusiasm with D.C. and its community of Nats fans.


At 12:18 PM, Blogger SuperNoVa said...

Best bratwurst ever? You're from Philly. And then you say that the best bratwurst ever is in California? CAL-E-FORN-E-YAA?

I take umbrage, sir. And I very well may demand satisfaction tonight at RFK.

At 12:58 PM, Blogger DM said...

It was advertised as the "Sheboygan Bratwurst", FWIW. My former number one were the brats sold in Riverfront stadium.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Chris Needham said...

There are some comments ripe for the out-of-context plucking here!

At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Will said...

What about the leg room? The leg room is great at RFK.


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