April 3, 2008
Until the [sixth] inning today, the Washington Nationals were in dominant form, heading confidently toward their fourth straight win to open the 2008 season. Cristian Guzman led off the first inning with a double, and a five-run rally ensued. With a comfortable cushion, Jason Bergman held the Phillies to only one run for the first five innings. After the Phillies started to connect with the ball in the sixth inning he was taken out, whereupon the bullpen promptly collapsed as the Phillies scored six runs. The Nats evened it up in the eighth, and let slip a chance to take the lead in the ninth. In the tenth inning, Jesus Colome was obliged to intentionally walk Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, loading the bases, and then he walked in Jayson Werth on four straight pitches. D'oh!! And so the Nats lost their first game of the season. Well, at least they are still in first place!
I've seen enough photos [e.g., jdland.com -- thanks, Mike Z.] of the Opening
Day Night game at Nationals Park to see that a few minor adjustments were needed, so I took care of that. The high-priced seating sections behind home plate and around center field ("Red Porch," etc.) were the most notable changes.
Reluctantly, I bring up the disrespectful attitude of some fans toward our Chief Executive as he threw out the first pitch in Washington on Sunday night. Love him or hate him, he is our president, and happy occasions such as Opening Night should be off limits to political nastiness. For some reason, this incident elicited a blase "so what" attitude from many opinion-makers, including the editorialists of our local paper, the News Leader, who seemed to suggest that he deserved it. What!??? A letter to the editor in the Washington Post likewise asserted that booing is a fundamental right, saying that "respect had to be earned." How utterly inane and beside the point. Of course we have the "right" to boo, just as we have the "right" to be obnoxious in other ways. But why anyone would waste their breath making excuses for such behavior is beyond me.