July 4, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Veterans Stadium update

Veterans Stadium At long last, the Veterans Stadium diagrams have been revised. Why that one? Well, today is a national holiday, and I figured that it's appropriate to remember our veterans to whom we owe our independence. Whatever the reason, now you can directly compare The Vet to the new home of the Phillies, Citizens Bank Park.

It has been four whole months since the last time I managed to get one of those stadium diagrams "up to standard" (i.e., properly aligned with center field at the top), and I greatly appreciate the patience of fans who visit this Web site regularly. I do expect to resume upgrading other diagrams on a regular basis, now that most of my political battles are behind me (I hope).

The Nats: First Half, 2007

The Nationals played their 81st game this year on Sunday, marking the halfway point of the season. Aside from the "warm streak" lasting from May 11 through June 14 (when they went 20-12), there isn't very much to be cheerful about. The table below summarizes their playing success (or lack thereof) and their home game attendance on a month-by-month basis. I did the same thing at the end of the season in 2005 and 2006. I plan to compile such data on a single page, eventually.

Washington Nationals: First Half, 2007 summary
Month Wins Losses NL East place
(at end)
Number of
home games
April 9 17 5 14 299,157 21,368
May 13 15 5 13 291,869 22,451
June* 11 16 5 12 295,414 24,618
1st Half TOTAL 33 48 5 39 886,440 22,729

* incl. July 1
SOURCE: My unofficial daily tabulations from MLB Gameday stats and newspapers.

Nats beat the Cubs

Thanks to a grand slam by the phenomenal All-Star Dmitri Young, as well as a superb seven-inning outing by Matt Chico (giving up no runs, four hits, and no walks), the Nationals defeated the Cubs at RFK this bright Fourth of July afternoon, 6-0. It was only their second win of the last nine games, and was the first time they had shut out an opponent since May 11 (the Marlins).

What could be better than watching our national pastime on our national holiday in our nation's capital? The Nats had their biggest crowd of the season since opening day, with 39,207 fans. They ought to schedule a home series in Washington every Fourth of July, and they ought to go back to the old tradition of having the very first game of the season in Washington as well, with the president throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.