9 Replies Latest reply: May 10, 2013 10:19 AM by erc RSS

A Little Natitude

erc Platinum
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In my first trip back to Nationals Park since the heartbreaking playoff collapse against the Cardinals, I enjoyed a perfect spring night for baseball. A middle of the week game, early in the season with terrific weather and modest crowds allowing for great stretching out and enjoying a game won by the home team, the Washington Nationals.

 

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                       We like to arrive early, settle in, and catch some BP

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Ryan Zimmerman driving in what would be the margin of victory

 

Whereas the Nationals are fortunate to have up and coming superstars Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, to us long suffering Washington baseball fans, Ryan Zimmerman is the franchise backbone. Drafted his junior year out of U Va, Ryan has spent his entire career with the Nats, including the very dismal early years. He's a terrific young man who is very community oriented and a superb role model for younger players. Each year he sponsors an event to help fight MS at the park. Take a look. This year it's May 23rd.

http://anightatthepark2013.eventbrite.com/#  It is a lot of fun and goes toward a good cause. If you're in the Nation's Capital, consider checking it out. You'll have a blast.

 

Note: Marriott, if you're running out of points due to all of the baseball stories, feel free to just send me a Merlot and a slab of brie

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  • Re: A Little Natitude
    erc Platinum
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    Dedicated to my aviator pal in Houston IAHFLYR 

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    • Re: A Little Natitude
      iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
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      LOL..awesome!!!  And thank you so very much erc

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  • Re: A Little Natitude
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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    Will they repeat? Hope so, since the Giants may be taking a year off ti let someone else in the Series

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  • Re: A Little Natitude
    ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
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    Gotta love the Nats....  After years without baseball (and, well, before that, the Senators were, um, well...), it's a great time to be a Nats fan!

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  • Re: A Little Natitude
    ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
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    I know it's early, but - in the Natitude category - what's your favorite storyline of the year (so far)?

    • Too much pressure - as good an explanation as any for the slow start?
    • J-Zimm finally getting (at least) some of the respect he deserves?  [This guy is still number 3 in the rotation....]
    • Span delivering, demonstrating the wisdom of the acquisition?
    • Harper?
      • as an early MVP candidate?
      • in the thick of things in the home run derby?
      • with the highest batting average of the everyday Nats?
    • Soriano - money in the bank?
    • Haren coming around?
    • LaRoche waking up (after his slow start)?
    • When will Strasburg hit his stride?

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    • Re: A Little Natitude
      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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      The SF Giants are a better franchise for the fans too with flexible pricing, Pandas, and of course McCovey Cove, where you can get a hot dog whole relaxing in your Kayak.  But let the Nats have their fun, it's the year of Los Gigantes, as we say out here.

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    • Re: A Little Natitude
      erc Platinum
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      Whew! I had to wait for Span to catch Fielder's fly in the deepest part of the field before answering. Jordan is the man, his superb pitching (and Harper's clutch hitting) kept the Nats hanging around while they got their Sports Illustrated nerves all straightened out. Whereas I never was a World Series or bust kind of fan, I'm certainly optimistic about another exciting, enjoyable season (now those gut wrenching Caps - whoa).

       

      And as you saw, Marriott could take a page out of the Lerner book as the Nationals rapidly responded to fan disappointment regarding the rain date ticket policy, a 24 hours reversal and even a apology (and these boys aren't altruistic saints, as witnessed by their increase in the Red Carpet Rewards program). Hats off for sincere regard for customer service.

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      • Re: A Little Natitude
        ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
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        Agreed that the Lerners has done a wonderful job building a quality team with a solid foundation for the long term with an eye towards winning over (and maintaining) a complex, fickle regional fan base.  Folks forget how (relatively) small DC is, and melting pot roots (or a transient population) creates a very different dynamic than more stable fan bases in New York, Boston, Chicago, LA, etc. (Back in the Senators era, fans of the visiting teams typically outnumbered home-team fans....) What the Caps (and Redskins - ugh, that name - argh) have proven, however, is that DC loves a winner....

         

        OK, my favorite story along these lines.  A few years back, I was advocating that my son (a baseball fanatic) let go of the Red Sox as his "favorite team" and buy in to the then-nascent Nationals.  My argument was that, once the Nats got good - and it was only a matter of time - he'd be able to say that he wasn't just another fair-weather fan, and he'd been a Nats fan back when they were cellar-dwellers. I tried to analogize to the Capitals, at which he interrupted me and exclaimed: "But Dad, the Caps have always been good!"  Ah, to be so young....  Anyway, I reminded him of this on the drive home from the euphoria-to-despair oh-so-disastrous Game 5 playoff game last season. Fortunately, hope springs eternal.

         

        So, yes, we'll be Rockin' the Red and hollerin' for the Caps tonight....

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        • Re: A Little Natitude
          erc Platinum
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          I used to try and convert all of my daughters' contemporaries to switch over from Angelos' Orioles, telling them to root for their home team. They finally got across to me, due to them never in their life having a team other than the O's (and certainly with Cal, even I pulled for them, in spite of ownership's attitude toward the DC market) that the Orioles sadly, were their home team. We lost an entire generation of fans, a lot who were baseball kids I had coached, so hopefully, everyone's here to stay (No thanks to Calvin Griffith and Bob Short).

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)