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Opening Day, North American style, open thread
2008-03-30 16:23
by Bob Timmermann

Coming to you from Nationals (this space for rent) Park in Washington, DC, it's the Atlanta Braves facing the Washington Nationals. Tim Hudson will be twirling for the men from Georgia, while happy go lucky Odalis Perez will be flinging it for the Nats.

But first MLB decides to have its first games played in Japan. And now the next Opening Day game is played in a place that ISN'T EVEN A STATE! Oh Bud Selig, you've sold out baseball's historic past. You keep heaping indignities upon the good people of Cincinnati. Doesn't anyone ever think of Cincinnati?

You can follow on Gameday if you don't have access to ESPN. But it's more fun to guess at what point in the game Joe Morgan will say something that will make you want to throw something at the TV screen.

Comments (116)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-03-30 16:39:12
1.   Greg Brock
Cincinnati got Jesus. At least I think he was Jesus.

He might have been Buddha. Although, technically, he wasn't really from Cincinnati. Pretty good surfer, though.

I don't know what Cincinnati has. Nevermind.

2008-03-30 16:40:59
2.   Bob Timmermann
I talk big when I realize that I have few if any readers from Cincinnati.
2008-03-30 16:47:49
3.   trainwreck
Who needs John when you got Dusty. He will fix everything.
2008-03-30 17:06:05
4.   Andrew Shimmin
Herringbone suits never look good on tv. Maybe the next generation of HD will fix that.
2008-03-30 17:21:54
5.   trainwreck
Joe Morgan has decided that the Japanese series does not count.
2008-03-30 17:22:48
6.   Andrew Shimmin
Did Perez always wear a motorcycle chain around his neck, or is that new?
2008-03-30 17:23:59
7.   Andrew Shimmin
Odalis is dealing.
2008-03-30 17:26:11
8.   DXMachina
Who is this pitcher, and what has he done with the real Odalis?
2008-03-30 17:26:40
9.   DXMachina
Oh, wait. There he is...
2008-03-30 17:35:43
10.   Bob Timmermann
I don't like the Braves jerseys, but I do approve of the caps.
2008-03-30 17:40:04
11.   Sam DC
Here at the game - cold, full, and happy.

Hadn't realized Nats were playing the Padres.

Nick Johnson coming up - yeah!

2008-03-30 17:41:35
12.   Bob Timmermann
We'd yell your name back at you, but Dodger Thoughts is like Cheers.
2008-03-30 17:42:39
13.   Sam DC
Welcome back Nick!
2008-03-30 17:42:42
14.   Sam DC
Welcome back Nick!
2008-03-30 17:44:32
15.   DXMachina
Wow! Johnson burns Francoeur twice.
2008-03-30 17:45:55
16.   Bob Timmermann
Sam's double post was prescient.
2008-03-30 17:46:41
17.   underdog
Oops, posted this in DT when I should've posted it here.

I thought the stadium looked attractive enough from the design plans I saw online, but the new Nationals Park is quite lovely now that we can see it for real.

The Nats also have to feel happy to have Nick Johnson back this season. They'll be a bit more dangerous.

And, wow, recovering from a broken leg he tests Francoeur's arm twice!

2008-03-30 17:47:38
18.   underdog
5 Joe Morgan does not count.
2008-03-30 17:49:51
19.   das411
So now the Rays and Braves will both look exactly like the Padres who now look like the Royals and Jays and Yankees?
2008-03-30 17:50:45
20.   DXMachina
I was thinking about what the reaction would've been like had the Senators put features called the Red Porch and the Red Loft in RFK in 1961.
2008-03-30 17:51:29
21.   Bob Timmermann
UCLA-Memphis at 3:07 pm PT
North Carolina-Kansas at 5:47 pm PT

My flight to Kauai gets in Saturday at 12:11 pm HT.

2008-03-30 17:51:58
22.   Andrew Shimmin
20- Yeah. What's that about, anyway? Are they still waiting for sponsors for those, too?
2008-03-30 17:58:55
24.   DXMachina
22 Maybe the Nats finally settled with Cincinnati over the Gary Majewski trade.
2008-03-30 18:00:24
25.   Bob Hendley
I can't tell, did they move the Senator's hall of fame baseballs over from JFK? Go Hondo!
2008-03-30 18:01:34
26.   Gen3Blue
I guess Sam DC is at the game, as I inquired over at DT. Any piece that uses 'twirling' deserves comments. JM is bound to make me more of a Nat's fan than I'm becoming.
2008-03-30 18:02:04
27.   Bob Hendley
21 - The suspense is killing me..and that would be what in PT?
2008-03-30 18:02:28
28.   Gen3Blue
Oh, Lord, a bush is growing in the press box.
2008-03-30 18:03:35
29.   Bob Hendley
26 - StolenMonkey86 got a last minute ticket as well, I think.
2008-03-30 18:04:08
30.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Because there is no Rule 5 here:
Normally, I would never advocate the booing of a president. But this administration has made it clear it doesn't want to hear from the rabble. So, on the rare occasion when W ventures outside his bubble, We the People are more than justified in giving voice to our opinions.
2008-03-30 18:04:57
31.   Bob Timmermann
Re-edited form of 23 by oshea2002:
These are my favorite new uniforms - talk about original, wherever did Iowa State get the idea for these?

2008-03-30 18:06:23
32.   Andrew Shimmin
30- Nobody wants to hear from the rabble. That's why they're rabble.
2008-03-30 18:07:05
33.   Bob Timmermann
At this time of year, PT is 3 hours ahead of HT.
2008-03-30 18:08:17
34.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
32 - Of the rabble, by the rabble, for the rabble?
2008-03-30 18:10:24
35.   Andrew Shimmin
34- You think Jefferson wanted to hear from the rabble? He'd have boxed your ears if you tried to boo him.
2008-03-30 18:15:16
36.   underdog
34 What if you rouse the rabble first?
2008-03-30 18:16:32
37.   DXMachina
35 OTOH, John Adams was probably used to being booed. That's probably why he doesn't have a memorial.
2008-03-30 18:17:17
38.   Bob Timmermann
I got a John Adams coin a few days ago.

Which I spent in a vending machine. He would have wanted it that way.

2008-03-30 18:17:21
39.   Bob Hendley
30 - IMHO you need to step back from this particular president and situation. I am sure that some one could come up with a justification for booing Mother Teresa.
2008-03-30 18:17:34
40.   Andrew Shimmin
Uh oh. "Sophisticated. . .stuff that makes it, y'know, hard to [unintelligible]."
2008-03-30 18:17:59
41.   Greg Brock
I guess disliking the booing of a president makes me old fashioned.

I can't imagine doing it.

2008-03-30 18:18:47
42.   Greg Brock
39 Christopher Hitchens is way ahead of you.
2008-03-30 18:19:03
43.   Andrew Shimmin
39- 98 pages worth of justification for booing Mother Teresa.

You're welcome.

2008-03-30 18:19:29
44.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
39 - "Mr. Hitchens. Mr. Christopher Hitchens, please pick up the white paging phone."
2008-03-30 18:19:29
45.   KG16
35 - that's why Jefferson was in Paris while Madison, Franklin, and Hamilton were writing the Constitution
2008-03-30 18:19:54
46.   Andrew Shimmin
41- Fascist.
2008-03-30 18:20:45
47.   Greg Brock
46 Get a haircut, hippie.
2008-03-30 18:20:50
48.   Bob Hendley
33 - Well, I guess that's why they call it a vacation.
2008-03-30 18:21:27
49.   Bob Timmermann
When Pete Wilson was governor of California, he came out to the pitch at the Rose Bowl before the first game of the World Cup played there.

Now that was some booing.

2008-03-30 18:21:28
50.   Andrew Shimmin
45- Madison spanked people who booed him on two non-consecutive occasions. Franklin disowned his son for less.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-03-30 18:23:03
51.   immouch
presidential booing:
i'm against it. but i'm american where, in theory, i'm more free than anybody else. in great britain, they boo the PM routinely, and save their non-booing feelings for royalty. weird... to be honest, i'll re-respect the office when the office holder respects me.
2008-03-30 18:24:21
52.   Bob Hendley
[42,44] - time I'll try to come up with a harder one.
2008-03-30 18:25:23
53.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
49 - Who were the competing teams?
If one was Mexico... wow.
2008-03-30 18:25:49
54.   KG16
50 - I thought it was Franklin who was disowned by his father? Been a while since I read his biography.

As for booing politicians, I'm generally not opposed, even if it's the president. They work for us, after all. Public opinion is an important check on them. That said, we'd be much better off if we had someone in the White House who actually commanded a bit of respect and decency... but since this is a baseball blog, I'll leave it at that.

2008-03-30 18:26:05
55.   Andrew Shimmin
Yeah, the Brits are weird. I almost wish this country had a queen, just so I could boo her.
2008-03-30 18:26:20
56.   Bob Hendley
49 - So he was thrown out of his first pitch?
2008-03-30 18:27:10
57.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
"i'm american where, in theory, i'm more free than anybody else."

Coincidentally, this was in Lee Greenwood's first draft.

2008-03-30 18:27:40
58.   trainwreck
Maybe they were saying Boooosh.
2008-03-30 18:27:43
59.   Greg Brock
54 My cleaning lady works for me. Do I get to boo her?

Please say "yes."

2008-03-30 18:27:51
60.   Bob Timmermann
It was Colombia vs. Romania. But I would assume that over half the crowd was Latino.

And the place was full.

Romania won the match, 3-1.

2008-03-30 18:28:25
61.   KG16
was there some sort of series of focus groups that told teams that they should have only white lettering on their hats? Because that's kind of lame - unless it's the Dodgers and Yankees.
2008-03-30 18:28:27
62.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
56 - Nicely played.
2008-03-30 18:29:24
63.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
59 - Sure, if I can fire the president and have Molly Maids finish out the term.
2008-03-30 18:30:23
64.   KG16
59 - only if you hired her for a fixed term and you can't fire her until the end of the term.

On a less snarky point: public figure vs private person, makes a difference.

2008-03-30 18:30:32
65.   Bob Hendley
60 - With those godawful yellow uniforms its the Romanians who should have been booed. Apparently, the Colombians refrain from booing their players. They just kill them.
2008-03-30 18:31:51
66.   DXMachina
If you boo the president, the terrorists have won. At least that's what Dick Cheney told me.

Can we all agree that it's okay to boo Christian Guzman?

2008-03-30 18:32:24
67.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Back to baseball...
The Nationals' insignia on their caps reminds me of an old line about the Chicago White Sox cap of the late 80s:
"If you saw that in the grass, you'd step on it before it could crawl closer."
2008-03-30 18:33:06
68.   Bob Timmermann
IIRC, the Colombians wore yellow uniforms that day and the Romanians wore red.

Colombia was a big favorite coming into that World Cup. People were dazzled by Carlos Valderrama's hair I guess. But they were bad.

2008-03-30 18:34:45
69.   KG16
Since Miller is talking about the Dodgers, and I know most here are Dodger fans... is anyone else concerned about Torre's recent reliance on using the DH as much as he has? I'm a little worried he's going to be out of shape when it comes to making double switches and other tactical moves not necessary when the DH is involved.
2008-03-30 18:35:17
70.   Andrew Shimmin
It's really quite charming, watching the rhetorical measures people will take to excuse liking the Bush booing. Just go ahead and own it, Bush-haters. It's not so bad. It's probably not even a minority position.
2008-03-30 18:35:26
71.   Greg Brock
I might boo the Under Secretary of Agriculture, but that's an entirely different kettle of fish.

Farm subsidies make my blood boil, you know.

2008-03-30 18:35:58
72.   Bob Timmermann
I did not recall correctly. Colombia wore blue and Romania wore yellow.

2008-03-30 18:36:55
73.   Bob Timmermann
I think managing double switches is the least of Joe Torre's issues.
2008-03-30 18:37:36
74.   DXMachina
69 How hard can it be? If you bring in a pitcher, and Pierre is on the bench, you do a single switch. If for some strange reason Pierre is on the field, you do a double switch.
2008-03-30 18:38:31
75.   trainwreck
If Lasorda can do it...
2008-03-30 18:38:36
76.   Bob Hendley
69 - That tactical stuff is overrated. We got him to physiologically connect with the players. Oh, yeah, and to tell Ned to shove it.
2008-03-30 18:38:48
77.   Andrew Shimmin
Grittle went double switch crazy, when he first came over.
2008-03-30 18:41:24
78.   KG16
75 - Lasorda didn't spend 12 years in the AL with the DH.

76 - we won the first engagement, now it's on to the next.

70 - I never said I liked the fact that people are booing the president. Just acknowledging that they have a First Amendment right to tell him to shove it.

2008-03-30 18:43:16
79.   Bob Timmermann
Peter Gammons is saying OPS a lot.
2008-03-30 18:43:28
80.   trainwreck
I was just making a joke, because you said out of shape.
2008-03-30 18:44:38
81.   Bob Hendley
Adios O. Did you know that this was Perez' first opening day start? He seemed posed to do so in 2003 with the Dodgers, but management got wind of a young, unknown blogger's opinion that he lacked the requisite gravitas, and yanked him. I think this is called packback, or would be if the Gnats were playing the Bums.
2008-03-30 18:46:30
82.   Bob Hendley
78 - What I meant is that most people think that stuff like tactics is more important.
2008-03-30 18:47:45
83.   Bob Timmermann
And in the end, Hideo Nomo threw an 8-0 shutout against the DBacks.
2008-03-30 18:50:03
84.   DXMachina
78 He's also giddy because he can charge his iPod in the locker room here.
2008-03-30 18:53:46
85.   Bob Timmermann
So the Nationals sprung for USB cables and electrical outlets? That must have sent construction costs into the hundreds of dollars.
2008-03-30 18:56:56
86.   Bob Hendley
83 - Ok, but someday he will be wrong. Any idea how he feels about Mother Teresa?
2008-03-30 18:59:58
87.   Bob Timmermann
Looks like there will be time for me to go out for a walk after this game and stop for coffee and go to the market.

Unless it goes to extra innings. So don't do that.

2008-03-30 19:05:08
88.   Bob Timmermann
For entertainment purposes only:

Oddsmakers are pretty much rating UCLA and Memphis as a tossup. North Carolina is favored by 3 points against Kansas.

2008-03-30 19:05:45
89.   Gen3Blue
79 Really noticable. He must be backing and filling from something.
2008-03-30 19:20:02
90.   oshea2002
Hopefully this is a good Final Four - the last three have been pretty bad. 2004 was the last really good one, although the Title Game was a bust. 2005 Title game was good.
2008-03-30 19:22:10
91.   DXMachina
85 On a publicly funded construction project in DC?
2008-03-30 19:25:38
92.   Bob Timmermann
The USB cables had to meet military specs?
2008-03-30 19:25:58
93.   Bob Timmermann
"Sweet Caroline" comes to DC.
2008-03-30 19:26:54
94.   KG16
93 - we must act, we can not let this song become a baseball anthem.
2008-03-30 19:31:27
95.   DXMachina
92 Of course. Homeland security found out that the locker rooms are meeting places for foreign nationals.
2008-03-30 19:32:17
96.   Bob Timmermann
But Australia is on our side now!
2008-03-30 19:32:45
97.   das411
2008-03-30 19:32:47
98.   Bob Timmermann
Gigantor going for the save.
2008-03-30 19:37:39
99.   DXMachina
Heart and soul, but no glove.
2008-03-30 19:38:05
100.   das411
Welp at least Washington has a new Barajas-esque public enemy now...
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-03-30 19:38:18
101.   DXMachina
96 Not since they kicked out the old prime minister.
2008-03-30 19:42:02
102.   Bob Timmermann
Then string Peter Moylan up from the highest yardarm!
2008-03-30 19:43:46
103.   Bob Timmermann
And there will be much rejoicing in the Sam DC household tonight.
2008-03-30 19:44:01
104.   DXMachina
This was a pretty entertaining game.
2008-03-30 19:56:55
105.   capdodger
70 Bush has proven himself an inept, morally deficient leader. We'll be paying for his malfeasance, both at home and abroad, for years to come. I'm amazed he bothered to show up to throw out the first pitch, because if he were going to hear it anywhere, he'd hear it on the streets of the District (89% Kerry vs 10% Bush in '04). The palpable surprise on his face was almost funny. Almost.

Bush notwithstanding, that was an entertaining game.

2008-03-30 20:12:46
106.   Andrew Shimmin
105- When I said, "it's not so bad," I meant liking seeing the President booed, not his presidency. That people were straining to find reasons to support what they would, but for their distaste for this particular President, prefer to think of as piggy behavior. I just wanted them to give themselves permission to delight in the moment. It was a mission of mercy!

I take no public position on the presidency of George W. Bush.

2008-03-30 20:17:57
107.   das411
hey Bob, can the scorer just decide to give Odalis the win for that game instead of GIGANTOR? Or is this one of those cases when his discretion doesn't matter?
2008-03-30 20:29:00
108.   Marty
Its way too late, but I'd like to weigh in.

Booing that SOB is not only condoned, but encouraged.

I will try to not make anymore political comments again.

2008-03-30 20:56:53
109.   Daniel Zappala
I have to weigh in too. When you have a President this historically bad, booing is both allowed and encouraged.
2008-03-30 21:18:55
110.   Bob Timmermann
Nope. Gigantor gets the win.
2008-03-30 22:15:54
111.   Andrew Shimmin
Marty's got it; Zappala still wants wiggle room to click his tongue when his guy gets booed, next year.
2008-03-30 22:21:03
112.   Andrew Shimmin
Or do you cluck your tongue? Click looks wrong to me.
2008-03-30 22:26:41
113.   sporky
Will the George Washington... mascot be a permanent fixture at Nats games?
2008-03-30 23:05:17
114.   Bob Hendley
113 - Are we allowed to boo George Washington or his facsimile (big time land speculator and Indian killer with wooden teeth)?
2008-03-31 00:18:49
115.   Greg Brock
Booing is boorish, childish behavior.

Sad to see so many otherwise great people condone such things.


2008-03-31 00:32:21
116.   Andrew Shimmin
115- It's vaudeville without the stripper. It's a shame that baseball gets mixed up in it, but the easy way to fix that is to stop inviting politicians to the games. Let them rent a luxury suite, if they want to see the game.
2008-03-31 08:29:22
117.   capdodger
115 Boorish? People have been booing at sporting events since time immemorial. If they're not booing the President, then they're booing umpires, players, or the ushers that are escorting kissing lesbians out of the stadium. If you want refined behavior in Washington, I'd suggest the Kennedy Center. National's Park is a baseball stadium, not an opera house (though Italians have been known to whistle their disapproval of poor operatic performaces).

You want boorish? I've seen entire street corners of people around Dupont Circle give the VP's motorcade the bird. Of course, it's possible that they were not registering disapproval of policies, but rather their annoyance at the VP's interference with their commute.

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