Sure, there were skeptics. “They might be overdoing it a little bit,” former Nat Laynce Nix told the AP. “I really don't know what to make of it. I would think the Nationals being in first place, Strasburg pitching, Bryce Harper, [the Phillies] — I think that’s enough to sell tickets, I would think. Who knows? Marketing is marketing.”
But even if Nats players scoffed at the Natitude Park banner, the message was out there. The ESPN announcers used the word “Natitude” repeatedly and talked about “Natitude Park” at length at least once. The New York Times wrote that “Natitude battled Philadelphia atty-tood to a decision. If the Nationals keep winning, invasion forces may be moving in the other direction in a few years.” The Philly Inquirer wrote that the campaign “was a success; Nationals fans filled the place to watch their first-place team.” And SI’s Joe Lemire put it pretty simply: “The Nationals took back their park.
BECAUSE YOU DON’T READ THE PAPER . . .
Jayson Werth’s broken wrist = ugh. “Wow. That’s really bad,” Bryce Harper said.
Mike Shanahan appears to be in love with RGIII.
Even in a Nats column, Jason Reid takes a shot at Ernie Grunfeld, writing that Davey Johnson is “as skilled at handling [the Nats] as Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld is at persuading team owner Ted Leonsis to stay the course.”
Tarik asks the question: “Is this Washington’s best playoff team since 1998, the year the franchise advanced to its only Stanley Cup finals?”
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
I believe this fan Tweet about Bryce Harper is correct.
BRYCE HARPER MAD LIBS! Bryce is the 1st teenager to <BASEBALL FEAT> since<OLD PERSON> since <YEAR>! #nats— TClipps Specs (@TClippardsSpecs) May 7, 2012
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Cole Hamels fesses up about hitting Bryce Harper, will probably get punished.
“I was trying to hit him,” Hamels said. “I’m not going to deny it. That’s just — you know what, it’s something that I grew up watching, that’s what happened, so I’m just trying to continue the old baseball — I think some people kind of get away from it.”
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
The Rangers are at the Orioles on MASN at 7. Some other Rangers play the Caps at 7:30 on NBC Sports Network. All TV/Radio listings are here.
Some Philly Web site comes out of Mars to say that “The Nationals and their lame fans did their best to make it seem like their home field was sacred, but the bottom line is that they still can’t draw people to watch an exciting, young team that is leading its division.”
Is Dale Hunter’s maligned calmness a key to the Caps’ postseason success?
Rick Snider is already convinced that RGIII “will be the Washington Redskins' best quarterback since Sonny Jurgensen.”
The Orioles were on network TV on Sunday, but network TV cut away during the 17 inning marathon, which is super bizarre.
From the Philly Daily News: “The Nationals are in first place, the Phillies are in last, and both teams spent the last 3 days proving themselves worthy of their designations.”