Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Accident Waiting to Happen

Games 67 through 70 - Red Sox

Braves 8, Red Sox 2
Red Sox 3, Braves 0
Red Sox 6, Braves 5
Red Sox 11, Nationals 3
Record: 43-27

The Red Sox keep on keeping on, mixing a terrific start by Josh Beckett, some luck and a Nick Green walk-off, and some more luck and a bad Nationals bullpen into a tidy little 3-game winning streak. But we come here not to praise the Bostons. Rather, we come to this place today to bash our local team. More to the point, to hammer their management.

Dan Steinberg brings word this morning of the Nationals' ownership generating revenue by selling Red Sox merchandise at Nationals Park, the first time the Nats' have sold visiting team gear. In the abstract capitalist sense, I have no particular problem with this: professional sports franchises exist to make profits, and plenty of professional clubs sell their opponents' apparel. Were I a Nationals fan, though, in the midst of a dreadful season and already questioning the priorities of my team's ownership, the timing and symbolism of this decision would have me sputtering.

The Nats have done everything short of erecting a 37-foot wall in leftfield to make Red Sox fans feel at home in Washington this week. And as a Sox fan, I guess I appreciate it. As a baseball fan, a lover of competition, and someone who hopes that the Washington franchise succeeds, I think it sucks. It's one more off note in a series of tone deaf managerial moves by Team Lerner. The Nats have exacerbated their abysmal talent evaluation and development with an Angelosian mangling of their relationship with the community, failing abjectly in their stewardship of the public trust required to build a loyal (read: repeat customers) fanbase. It's no mystery that last night's game marked the largest attendance in the history of Washington's new stadium. Locals are tuning the team out in droves, and that's a shame.

I'll be attending Thursday's Sox/Nats game with TJ, and looking forward to seeing John Smoltz' debut for the Olde Towne team. I'm also eager to experience Nationals Park for the first time. Shame it's gonna feel like Fenway.

8 comments:

Nick said...

The Nats are an embarrassment. Kasten was on Philly sports radio just before the Nat home opener against the Phils and he invited Philly fans to come downt to DC to check out the park. What a moron. Every Phillies game I have been to in DC is already overloaded with Phillies fans and this dope makes it worse.

By the way, the stadium is amazingly bland. Feels like a shopping mall and the view of the capitol is obstructed by two hideous parking garages. Class act those Lerners.

Wainwright said...

Rob

I'll be at Thursday's game as well. If you are over by the third base section (115?), I'll be there with my kids. So keep it clean.

Mark

Jerry said...

They should just call all the local teams the "Redskins". Locals might show up by mistake.

rob said...

mark - nice. we'll be in 309 with the rest of the riffraff. will try to keep teejay from throwing things down on you.

TJ said...

Try...

Buzzard, Rascal & Rat said...

I went to an Orioles-Sox game about a year ago at camden and there seemed to be a lot more Sox fans than O's fans. Kind of sad. I'll be at the game tomorrow night as well--buy me a beer?

Buzzard, Rascal & Rat said...

Not sure why my account name is "Buzzard, Rascal & Rat". Has someone stolen by ID? (This is Coby.)

rob said...

teejay will definitely buy you a beer. call me when you get there - my cell # is in my email signature.