January 21, 2005


Bush to make pitch at home opener (Bill Ladson, 1/21/05, MLB.com)

President George W. Bush has accepted the Nationals' invitation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the regular-season home opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 14 at RFK Stadium, club president Tony Tavares confirmed on Thursday.

President Bush, an avid baseball fan and former co-owner of the Rangers, will become the first president to throw out the first pitch in Washington, D.C., since Richard Nixon.

"The president has told me he will [throw out the first pitch]," Tavares said. "It's outstanding. I've seen [presidents] throw the first pitch on television. I just haven't been there in person."

Game time will be at 7:05 p.m. ET. Fans can purchase tickets on Nationals.com. The club will be off on April 15 before resuming the three-game series against Arizona on April 16.
Anyone score us some freebies?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 21, 2005 7:33 AM

At least this president doesn't throw like a girl, not that there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by: erp at January 21, 2005 9:35 AM

Well, at least RFK Stadium now has direct subway acess and an entrance inside the Stadium/D.C. Armory area. The problem of easily getting fans down to the East Capitol Street/Anocostia River site and then safely out of the area for night games was one of the things that killed Bush's former team when it was located in Washington (and I haven't seen the exact site they want for the new field on the other side of the Anacostia, but it better be right next to a subway stop and/or have a ton of parking or else the Nats will have the same problems the Senators endured, given the D.C. government's troubles getting the district's crime rate down).

Posted by: John at January 21, 2005 10:44 AM

It shouldn't be too difficult to cordon off a several block area and make it a safe zone for night games. NYC does it for Yankee Stadium. 161st and Grand Concourse ain't exactly Park Avenue.

Posted by: Bart at January 21, 2005 1:35 PM

Running the scalper gauntlet under the el along River Avenue before the game is still a major annoyance -- especially when they start cursing you out for not stopping to buy a ticket -- but the main safety differnce between New York and D.C. in recent years is the New York council's natural tendancy to showboat for the lowest common denominator among their electorate was muted by the obvious success in crime control during the Giuliani Administration, which has carried on for the most part into Bloomberg's first term.

You can get away with shutting streets in the Bronx because the ambitious council pols know there's no profit in them arguing its a violation (or if they're really angry, a racist violation) of community rights. The D.C. council is better than it used to be, but it's still peppered with folks who'd scream about any safe zone around an Anocostia stadium, knowing they'll never pay a price for it.

Posted by: John at January 21, 2005 2:52 PM