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Season Opener Is Packed With Pinstripes

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Tuesday, April 3, 2007

What a day to play hooky! There were a lot of guys wearing dress shirts and ties at RFK yesterday -- their "afternoon appointment" was the Washington Nationals season opener. "All these people are here on business," joked former mayor Tony Williams, comfortably settled in Section 220.

Adrian Fenty brought dad Phil and twins Matthew and Andrew, 7, but insisted it was all in the line of duty. "Opening day for a mayor is part of the job description," he said with a grin. Other VIP fans spotted: George Will, Tim Russert, James Carville (with daughter Emma, 8), Chris Wallace, Bob Schieffer, Mark Russell, Ted Leonsis, Rep. Tom Davis and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, and a posse of Hillary Clinton's staffers led by press sec Philippe Reines. "It's great!" said Wallace, who brushed aside predictions for a dismal season. "You're in first place on opening day." (Alas, no more.)

Originally scheduled for last night, the game was switched by Major League Baseball, at the request of the Lerner family, to accommodate Jewish fans celebrating Passover. Ted Lerner kept a typically low profile in the owner's box, but wife Annette (dressed head to toe in Nats red), daughters Debra Lerner Cohen and Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, and nine grandchildren began the day snapping pictures behind home plate.

Things went downhill after that: Giant foam-head Teddy Roosevelt lost his first president-mascot's race this season -- Teddy rode a zip-line from the top of RFK Stadium down the first base line, but was disqualified for "flying." And the game? The Nats lost, 9-2, to the Marlins.

At AFI Silver, an Arch Look at 'Broadcast News'

The irony was lost on no one at the AFI Silver Theatre Sunday night. There was Arch Campbell -- the Channel 7 film critic ungallantly axed by WRC after 32 years -- hosting a post-screening chat about "Broadcast News," the classic 1987 romantic comedy (Holly Hunter, William Hurt) set amid corporate ax-wielding in a TV newsroom.

So, Arch: Any similarities to real life? Campbell, who hosted the screening as part of an "Arch's favorites" series, chuckled knowingly. He recalled writer-director James L. Brooks taking notes at WRC and NBC's Washington bureau in the mid-'80s, resulting in scenes like Joan Cusack racing through the newsroom to get a videotape on the air -- hilarious and "pretty accurate," Campbell said, though those days are gone, of course, now that everything's digital. In all, he took the high road.

"I have these dreams that I'm showing up to work at WRC and I'm about to go on the air, and suddenly I realize, 'Wait, I work at WJLA now,' " he said. "I guess these are good dreams. I guess it means I've acclimated to the new place."

LOVE, ETC.

  • Mourning: Steny Hoyer, who last week had to put his popular and loyal companion, 15-year-old English springer spaniel Charlotte, to sleep after old-age problems caught up with her. Roll Call reported yesterday the House majority leader skipped the Radio & Television Correspondents' Association dinner last week because of his pooch's passing.
  • Flaunting: Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden, who sported a suspicious-looking ring on his left-hand ring finger at the Waldorf natives' top-secret Friday night show at the Black Cat. Please tell us it's not a secret marriage to starlet girlfriend Nicole Richie? Madden's reps declined to answer questions about his personal life, but Richie's people say they're not engaged or anything. So, friendship rings -- maybe that's what the kids are doing these days? Bandmate/twin Benji Madden wore a diamond-encrusted pendant saying "Sophie" -- for Aussie model-actress fiancee Sophie Monk.
  • UPDATE

    So much for our theory that Donald Trump's wrestling wager with WWE honcho Vince McMahon -- winner shaves loser's head -- was a face-saving gambit for the tycoon to shed his universally derided comb-over. In Sunday's much-hyped Detroit match, Trump's proxy, Bobby Lashley, pummeled McMahon's man, Umaga, and Trump took the shears to McMahon's scalp. Hmm. Maybe these things aren't rigged after all.

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