Rich Tandler's Nationals blog.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Live Blog Nationals vs. Marlins

OK, here we go. The Cover It Live interface here is pretty easy to figure out, you can scroll up if you want to read earlier content. You can hit the button to leave a comment as you desire.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Live blog coming Monday

I'm going to be doing a running live blog commentary during Monday's game vs. the Marlins. I won't be at the ballpark, I'll be sending along my observations as I watch the High Def broadcast on MASN.

The live blogging interface has the capacity to take comments, so I look forward to hearing from you if you're going to be hanging around.

If you don't want to forget, just enter your email below and select how far in advance you want a reminder sent and you're set. (I don't even see your email, so you don't have to worry about it being used for any other purpose.)

See you Monday!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Football at the ballpark?

I hadn't heard much about this before, but apparently a football game could be played at Nationals Park later this year.

According to, the Congressional Bowl is slated to kick off on December 20, 2008. The participants would be an ACC team and one of the service academies. Navy has signed to play in the inaugural event, which will be televised by ESPN.

The game will be played at either RFK Stadium or at Nationals Park. The latter, of course, is a newly-opened facility designed for baseball only. How would they fit a football field there?

The answer is not very well. Any configuration would have some drawbacks.

Playing around with some scale drawings, there would be three ways to fit the field into the ballpark. There's the right field option:

This would make the first-base line seats, the ones with the view of the Capitol dome in the upper deck, the prime location. However, it would leave the center field pavilion, aka the revenue center, too distant to be of much use.

The center field option probably would be the best in terms of the field itself—more room along the sidelines and in the end zone with the exception of the corners. However, it's obvious that it wouldn't work as the sideline seats are too distant.

The left field configuration probably would work best:

That puts the CF pavilion into the action and the Red Porch as well. The press box would be in the corner of the end zone, just like it is at FedEx. There are plenty of sideline seats, the ones for which you can get top dollar.

But just because they can fit a football field in there, does that mean that they should? I'm sure that most readers here would rather they didn't.

However, there are 611 million reasons why the DC government would be inclined to do so. They need to recoup the massive investment in the ball park and a bowl game that can draw 25,000 to 35,000 three months before the baseball season starts can bring in some cash to help pay for the ballpark.

You can like it or not, but the reality is what it is.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

W’s reception at Nationals Park

One of the few controversies to emerge from the Nationals' opener on Sunday was the greeting given to President George W. Bush when he threw out the first pitch. As I mentioned in my live blog, there were folks posted outside of the Metro station urging everyone getting out of the Navy Yard station to boo Bush, just in case we didn't have minds of our own.

At the park, I definitely heard a strong undertone of booing mixed in but it didn't strike me as being a particularly hostile noise.

I was somewhat surprised, then, the next morning when I heard the event on TV. The booing was much more pronounced. I was talking with my parents later in the day and they commented on the boos. A Navy veteran in California who, presumably, watched on TV wrote a letter to the Post protesting the protest of the president.

I recorded the first pitch with the video feature on my camera. I finally got around to transferring the video off of the card and, since some people have asked me about the reception for W, I went ahead and uploaded it to You Tube. The video isn't too good but you get a pretty good idea of what it sounded like.

In case you're wondering, I was not in a section that had a particularly high population of Republicans. I wasn't in a section at all at the time, I had stopped on the ramp on my way up to the seat and viewed the first pitch from one of the concession areas that overlook the field down the left field line.

You can compare it here to the sound as it came across on ESPN:

I'm certainly not an expert in audio recording equipment, but I am an authority on hazarding a guess. I would think that the ESPN microphones are better at picking up the low end sounds while the tiny mic on my HP Photosmart M547 records the high sounds. The high-def Dolby equipment is going to capture the lower booing sound while the camera purchased at Target for a hundred bucks is going to get the higher-range noise of the cheering.

Anyway, no dramatic conclusion to draw here, just a different perspective.