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Results (yours and mine)

Dec 30, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the "Best (and other) Moments of 2010" poll yesterday. You all gave some fantastic answers and insight into why you chose the moments you did. Plus, a bunch of you made me laugh with your wickedly funny answers.

I've pored through all the answers, and I think I've come up with the consensus selections. So here's what the readership picked for each moment, along with my own personal choice in each category…

BEST MOMENT OF 2010
Readers pick: Stephen Strasburg's debut
My pick: Stephen Strasburg's debut
This one was no contest. The electricity in the ballpark that night was second-to-none. The press box was packed beyond capacity. The entire baseball world was watching on TV. And then the kid not only lived up to the hype but exceeded it by a factor of 10.

WORST MOMENT OF 2010
Readers pick: Opening Day
My pick: Opening Day
It was a neck-and-neck race between the Opening Day fiasco against the Phillies and Stephen Strasburg's injury, but Opening Day barely won out. It was bad enough that the Nationals laid an egg in the game. That it happened in front of a huge pro-Philly crowd that came down I-95 on chartered buses and prevented actual D.C. fans from buying tickets turned this into a moment no one around here will soon forget.

FUNNIEST MOMENT OF 2010
Readers pick: The Miss Iowa saga
My pick: The Miss Iowa saga
Guess we really do think alike in most cases. The moment Miguel Batista said, "Imagine if you go to see Miss Universe, then you end up having Miss Iowa, you might get those kind of boos," I knew he had just uttered the quote of the year. I didn't know, though, that it wouldRead more ยป

  1. Doc - Dec 30, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    We're also lucky, Mark, that you really enjoy doing your chosen career.

  2. Sec3 - Dec 30, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    In hindsight, I think the Silver Elvis Wig would have done better if they'd actually, y'know, needed it after June.

  3. Sec3 - Dec 30, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    Interesting that your two WT[RF] moments were both out of right field. You'd think WT# moments would be out of left field, by definition.

  4. S3MS - Dec 30, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    and I hate to play Capt. Bringdown, but as I was newposted, reposting:Harmon Killebrew announces he has cancerBy Ben Goessling, December 30, 2010 10:14 AMhttp://tinyurl.com/22lmycj"I was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer. With my wife, Nita, by my side, I have begun preparing for what is perhaps the most difficult battle of my life. I am being treated by a team of medical professionals at the Mayo Clinic. While my condition is very serious, I have confidence in my doctors and the medical staff and I anticipate a full recovery.The Mayo Clinic is one of the largest and most experienced medical centers treating esophageal cancer in the world. In the past decade, they have made tremendous advances in the treatment of this disease. Nita and I feel blessed to have access to the best doctors and medical care.I thank everyone for their outpouring of prayers, compassion and concern. Nita and I ask for privacy during this difficult journey."

  5. Andrew - Dec 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM

    My favorite post of yours Mark was about your Grandmother. It hit home with so many of us and also put baseball & life into perspective.http://natsinsider.blogspot.com/2010/11/life-worth-celebrating.htmlThen to read what you just wrote "Am I the luckiest guy in the world to be able to do this for a living or what?" is the reason why you write so well because you are so passionate about what you do. Wishing you and your wife a Happy New Year and looking forward to more daily Nats Insider entries!

  6. Anonymous - Dec 30, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    Ya man I am grateful that your able to keep your self going with this site and CSN..I dont understand why those mofoe's at the Post didnt hire you when they had the chance…

  7. Anonymous - Dec 30, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    "That it happened in front of a huge pro-Philly crowd that came down I-95 on chartered buses and prevented actual D.C. fans from buying tickets turned this into a moment no one around here will soon forget."Well, it's not a good thing that they had to resort to inviting Philly fans down here for Opening Day (for the second year in a row) but it's a lie that doing so prevented any actual Nats fans from going to the game. Had the Philly fans not been there, those seats would have been empty. Tickets were available at the box office the day of both games – and not just the $5 grandstand seats. I have a friend who bought walkup tickets for both of those Opening Day games vs the Phillies. And that was despite the influx of Philly fans.Recall that absent the Phillies as the opponent or a one-of-a-kind event (return of baseball to DC in 2005, Nats Park opening in 2008) the opener has never sold out here. It hasn't even been a tough ticket except for 2005 and 2008. My point is that no Nats fan who really wanted to go to the game has ever been prevented from going, except for 2005 and 2008. Unlike other cities (e.g. Baltimore) there really are not enough hometown fans here to support a sold-out Opening Day year after year. The team is always going to have to resort to creative marketing strategies to sell out that game, and unfortunately the strategy they used in 2009 and especially 2010 backfired on them.

  8. Anonymous - Dec 30, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    Well, they didn't keep their copy editors. And speaking of editors…

  9. Anonymous - Dec 30, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    Whut? I shold have capitalized "The" in the Post?

  10. natsfan1a - Dec 30, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Loved your sentimental favorite, Mark. IMO, that love for your work shines through in this blog and is a factor in its success. Hope that you'll be able to continue writing about baseball professionally for many years.I also selfishly hope that your next sportswriter "WHAT THE #$%&?!" moment involves a super-terrific player transaction for the Nats. Oh, and that it happens before, say, Groundhog Day. :-)Last but not least, now I really want to attend a Nats game in Pittsburgh. I think this will be the year. Wait, didn't I just say that about Spring Training the other day? hmmm…

  11. natsfan1a - Dec 30, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    Wait, that was pretty selfish. Okay, I hope that Mark gets the scoop on the super-terrific player Nats transaction. ;-)

  12. NatsFanTom - Dec 30, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    You are the luckiest guy Mark, and we are all tied for second luckiest, to have your reporting to look forward to each day. I can't say enough good things about Nats Insider. Simply the best Nationals reporting online or in print. Period. Paragraph.

  13. John C. - Dec 30, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    I've seen that PNC Park at sunset view, with the skyline lit like gold over the river – it's truly breathtaking, and why I rate PNC as one of my favorite ballparks. Too bad they have such a perennially crappy team – let's hope the Nats avoid that fate!Best of luck to Harmon Killebrew in his fight with cancer, and a heartfelt Happy New Year to the NI blog and it's merry band of posters. Yea, verily, even JayB – here's hoping that the Nats become so good that even JayB can't complain! ;)

  14. Kevin Rusch, Section406 - Dec 30, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    Mark, we're the lucky ones. Thank you.-k

  15. Anonymous - Dec 30, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    Not a good thing to be scooped by Mike Harris? ;) It was good to see a smaller blogger get in on the action … of course he apparently missed on the Adrian Beltre rumor. Makes one wonder if his insider connection to the Nats isn't through Scott Boras?

  16. erocks33 - Dec 30, 2010 at 6:03 PM

    @Anon 11:41 — I agree and disagree with you on the availability of OD tix. The problem is that when the first day of tix go on sale to the general public, the Nats only release a certain number of seats in each section, holding onto a large number (particularly in the Infield Gallery section) in case someone wants to purchase a season-ticket package.Then, as the OD date approaches and the likelihood that they aren't going to sell that many season-ticket packages is when they will release some more tix in each section. The main problem with this method is that for people like me (former 20-game season ticket holder that no longer can afford to plop down that much money at once), I can only afford certain sections inside Nats Park and when the Nats do finally release 3 seats together (have to take my wife and daughter) they're usually in the lower sections of which I just can't afford.Also, as in the case of this past season's OD fiasco, the Nats allowed Group Sales tickets to be purchased BEFORE the general public were allowed to purchase individual seats. So again, the pickings for the general public to obtain OD tix on the first day they went on sale to the general public were made even less.So yes, tickets are typically available for Opening Day, but generally not on the first day they are made available to the general public. As the opening date grows nearer, the more affordable seats for which someone would need 3 or more together are practically non-existent, with only the lower-bowl sections available (which most can't afford).

  17. NatBiscuit - Dec 30, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    So when do we do the out/in list?Out/In:- Tantrums/Cheers- Marquis as #1/Marquis as #5- Stand Pat/Bo Goes- What's On Second/Who's on First- Throw Nooo!/No Throw- Give the Extra Base/Take the Extra Base- Get er Dunn/Werth It- Strasburg/Harper- Clip and Save/Clip and Store- Position/Range- The Plan/The Phase- Stan/The Man- Boras/Van Wagenen…. Others?

  18. gavcollins - Dec 30, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    Love your Sept 5 moment, Mark. Nothing more fulfilling than a sunset at a time that you're entirely content. That it came when you were at work is special.

  19. Anonymous - Dec 30, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    "So yes, tickets are typically available for Opening Day, but generally not on the first day they are made available to the general public. As the opening date grows nearer, the more affordable seats for which someone would need 3 or more together are practically non-existent, with only the lower-bowl sections available (which most can't afford)."Well, this year they offered OD tix as part of a three-game package available before Christmas. I presume you bought yours? If not you have no right to complain later that you can't get the tickets you want.And using "affordability" as a reason that Nats fans are blocked from getting tickets just doesn't hold water. In a normal world, something desirable like OD is always going to command a premium price. Thousands of Phillies fans had no issue with what they had to pay to get into the game. (Remember, not all of them came via group sales – which is obvious because they were scattered throughout the stadium and not just concentrated in the sections sold to groups.)

  20. greg - Dec 30, 2010 at 7:16 PM

    i bought the 3 game OD tix package. and did it quickly to assure i had the best choice i could find.

  21. greg - Dec 30, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    btw, "group sales" doesn't necessarily guarantee you're getting huge blocks of seats all together. you could have smaller groups of seats over a couple of sections and still be buying as a group. it's not like the nats have contiguous sections of 50 seats together all over the stadium for opening day.

  22. JaneB - Dec 30, 2010 at 7:26 PM

    NatBiscuit….69/81Fans tossed for tossing back opposing HR balls/we get to AND so many fewer get hit (inelegant, but you get the point)

  23. Anonymous - Dec 30, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    Regarding the OD tix, I was but a young, naive Nats fan then. So when I went on the internet and tried to buy tickets, and the internet said, "sorry, the tickets are sold out for this event…" I took that to mean that the tickets for the event were sold out. I didn't know then, that it meant some tickets were being held in reserve for season ticket purchases, and some tickets were being held in reserve for 3 or 4 pack purchases (a purchase I would have happily made, had I known it was available).So I watched OD at home and went to my first Nats game of the season later (for my birthday, on 4/18 to watch Jason Marquis' rather long first inning…, but I digress). My point is that there were tickets available, but as a young, naive Nats fan I didn't know that they were available – it wasn't what I was told. A bit more information guiding me towards multipack purchases instead of just saying "sold out" would have been good.

  24. erocks33 - Dec 30, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    "Well, this year they offered OD tix as part of a three-game package available before Christmas. I presume you bought yours? If not you have no right to complain later that you can't get the tickets you want."No, I did not. I have been savaged by economic issues that I just don't need to share with you or others on this site. Even if I went with one of the cheapest options ($10), I'd be looking at 3x$10 (one ticket for me, one for my wife and one for my daughter) = $30. Times 3 games means I have to come up with $90 plus any and all service charges. And I'm sorry to say that I just don't have that amount readily available (I'd prefer to pay my utility bills first).So no offense, but screw you for telling me that I have no right to complain if I don't get the OD tix I want this year. If I had the money, I would. And I was responding to what happened LAST SEASON and in previous seasons. When OD tix go on sale for the general public in Feb/March, I believe that the majority of ALL seats should be made available and that none should be held for possible future season ticket purchases. When OD tix do go on sale for the general public in a couple of months, I feel that I should have an opportunity to purchase just 3 tickets in any section(s) I want to sit in, and not be forced to purchase any 3-game or 20-game or any number-game package.

  25. Anonymous - Dec 30, 2010 at 8:02 PM

    Doesn't one of the Lerner daughters spearhead the Nationals' "marketing" efforts? Does anyone know about her CV? Does she have any real world training? Or is the family trying to placate her by giving her a pet project? All I can say is: FAIL. If this ballclub any any marketing savvy (no matter whom is the driving force) they would not be "forced to" sell tickets to busloads of unwashed Vomiteers from Philadelphia!! One problem creates another.

  26. Anonymous - Dec 30, 2010 at 8:03 PM

    "When OD tix go on sale for the general public in Feb/March, I believe that the majority of ALL seats should be made available and that none should be held for possible future season ticket purchases."What about holding back the seats of previous STH in the hope that they might yet renew? Given that the sections you mentioned you were shut out of (e.g. Infield Gallery) are prime STH space, this is likely what was going on with many of the seats they held back in previous years. As recently as two years ago, those sections were entirely sold out to STH. Also, many STH were commenting last year that even late into spring training they were getting calls from the ticket office trying to get them to re-up. So it would seem that they really weren't holding back all that many seats for phantom new STH.Given the overall decline in STH numbers, this really shouldn't be an issue going forward.

  27. Sec3MySofa - Dec 30, 2010 at 8:06 PM

    "When OD tix go on sale for the general public in Feb/March, I believe that the majority of ALL seats should be made available and that none should be held for possible future season ticket purchases."erocks, with respect, that's just not how it works. OD is *the* premium game–it HAS to be offered to STHs first. They are the butter-and-eggs of any franchise.

  28. Sec3 - Dec 30, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    Well, Anon 3:02 has it. This is maybe my own #1 rant over the years, how badly this business is promoted.

  29. Sec3 - Dec 30, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    That said, erocks and I both will complain about whatever we [dang] well please, kthxbai.

  30. Sec3MySofa - Dec 30, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    But apparently a significant number of walkup tickets *were* available, and MLB *are* expensive–so is a play at the Shakespeare Theater, or a popular musical act at any top venue. Sucks, but there you are.They made a conscious effort to sell tickets to the other team's fans, rather than locally, because it was easier in the short run. Shooting fish in a barrel, really, but then you're left with a shot-up barrel that stinks of dead fish, and what can you do with that?

  31. natsfan1a - Dec 30, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    Nice, JaneB, but I think the number "86" might be more appropriate. :-)—JaneB said… NatBiscuit…. 69/81 Fans tossed for tossing back opposing HR balls/we get to AND so many fewer get hit (inelegant, but you get the point) December 30, 2010 2:26 PM

  32. Steve M. - Dec 30, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    MLB has the GIBBY Awards and I think Mark Zuckerman should do something similar for NatsTown only.Put up the categories with 4 or so nominees and let everyone vote to become the official NatsTown winners. Certainly could have defensive play of the year, Rookie of the Year, Team MVP, etc. My favorite is the "WHAT THE #$%&?!" MOMENT OF 2010

  33. natsfan1a - Dec 30, 2010 at 8:41 PM

    erocks, don't let the anonymii get you down. Hope that things improve for you financially with the new year.

  34. KEEPING SCORE - Dec 30, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    Are Sec3, Sec3MySofa, and erock33 all the same people?As far as financial stuff, I paid my Nats tickets from my savings account last year and with this tough economy I am in the same boat. Not sure what I will do to fix my Nats habit.

  35. SectionThree(3),MySofa - Dec 30, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    I do sometimes go by my surname, Sec3, (friends call me Sofa), or variants thereof, but note I was addressing erocks, so that's not me.

  36. Sunderland - Dec 30, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    Sofa-dude. Brilliant.Sec3 said… Interesting that your two WT[RF] moments were both out of right field. You'd think WT# moments would be out of left field, by definition.

  37. That sofa really brings the room together - Dec 30, 2010 at 10:46 PM

    Hey, the Sofa-Dude abides, man.

  38. BinM - Dec 30, 2010 at 11:17 PM

    Agreed, the Sofa abides. However, the Nationals still need a 1B, and Marrero isn't it.

  39. JaneB - Dec 30, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    Wanting to book spring training hotels etc. Any advice? There the 17th through the 22nd… A new thread I know but I'm excited….Also sometimes our tickets go begging because we can't go and can't find so eons who wants to go. I'd love for a Loyal Reader here to be able to use them. Like erocs. Or Mr. Or Ms. Sofa. Or others.How could we make something like that happen?

  40. natsfan1a - Dec 30, 2010 at 11:37 PM

    Will be interested to hear/read what advice others might have for JaneB, as we're hoping to wend our way to Viera for the first time, too. I've squirreled away some tidbits in a spring training file over the years, but the info's probably outdated.As for the other question, I'm putting on my thinking cap…

  41. Sunderland - Dec 30, 2010 at 11:54 PM

    JaneB – Spring training? Wait until you see NatsJack active again, and ask him.

  42. Feel Wood - Dec 31, 2010 at 12:41 AM

    "However, the Nationals still need a 1B, and Marrero isn't it."It will be either LaRoche or Lee. They're the only two left, and the Nats and O's are the only two teams yet to buy. Rizzo no doubt sees them as six of one, half dozen of the other – because they basically are. He doesn't want to overpay, though, and neither do the O's. So somehow or other they'll both sign, for less than they'd like to get – not unlike Dunn did in 2009. And like Dunn, it may take til the last minute before they do. But it will all get sorted out in plenty of time. Meanwhile, Rizzo is probably focusing on pitching, as he should be.

  43. Another_Sam - Dec 31, 2010 at 1:26 AM

    @JaneB – I've done it both ways; with hotels booked in advance, and with just the first night booked. You can't go wrong; you don't spend much time in the hotel. Last spring I spent one night in the Holiday in at Viera, just across 95 from Suncoast Stadium. Seemed to be lots of Nationals fans there. I often stay in a different hotel each night, due to scheduling. I think that the thing to do is pick a week where you can see at least one game each day, map out your itinerary, and then you'll see where you need to stay each night. There's no shortage of hotels in Florida — the state is practically one big hotel. LOL What do the rest of you guys say about Spring Training?

  44. Another_Sam - Dec 31, 2010 at 1:41 AM

    Natsfan1a — I don't look at it as a trip to Florida; I look at it as a trip to spring Training. You'll see mostly the parks. As I indicated above, just figure out where you need to drive to so you can see at least one game a day. There are a few night games, so if you there at the right time you can see two games in one day. If you have must see stadia, plan you week accordingly. Last year was my first time in the new Yankees park in Tampa — and it's fabulous. Livan was in top form there. My brother and I were two of about a dozen non-Yankee fans in the packed house. BTW, I'm ready for spring training right now.

  45. mjr - Dec 31, 2010 at 1:46 AM

    NatBiscuit, love the In/Out list. How about Adam(s)/Eve(s)? Or Super Willie/Super Michael? Maybe Listach/Mustache? Yeah, I'm reaching here…

  46. Anonymous - Dec 31, 2010 at 2:02 AM

    It will be either LaRoche or Lee.Got my bad ear? Huh? This is Rizzo not Bowden. There are more some decent blocked first base prospects out there as well. I suspect its Lee not LaRoche. Three years of LaRoche is too long, while 2 years of Lee might be just what Rizzo had been planning with Dunn. Offensively they spec out pretty close with Lee actually better than Dunn if he remains healthy. Plus his fielding is better than most. Its either Lee or its going to be Morse and ?. They may be waiting to fille the position next year … there will be Fielder but there is already talk of the Nats making a run at Pujols. If Rizzo is considering moving Tyler Moore to Syracuse to play with MIchael Aubrey then you have to think they will move Marerro. The TB Rays could definitely use a bat at first base and DH in addition to what they currently have.For the Nats starting pitching still has to be the primary focus this year. Any important trade will likely involve that need first and foremost.

  47. LoveDaNats - Dec 31, 2010 at 3:15 AM

    What a great post! I had so much fun reading everyone's opinion. On spring training, I would love to go to Viera and see at least one game per day. I went to one game last year, when the Nats played the Braves at Disney's Wide World of Sports. That was the "compromise". My family is not quite the Nats fan I am so Disney had to be the hook to get them down there. Maybe the answer is to find like minded folk and do pure Viera.

  48. Sunderland - Dec 31, 2010 at 4:10 AM

    C'mon peric, the Nats ain't getting Prince Fielder. Once he becomes a free agent, and it's open bidding, the AL clubs will see less risk in him than the NL clubs, and his best offer(s) will be coming from AL teams. He's not going to be looking at a 3 or 4 year deal. Long term, guaranteed money, and the NL teams will see his 270 lb frame as a bigger risk than AL clubs will. It why Dunn went to the AL, it's why Fielder will end up in the AL.And "talk about the Nats making a run at Pujols" is too meaningless at this point to even address. BTW, we made a run at Greinke, at Teixiera, at Cliff Lee.

  49. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 31, 2010 at 4:35 AM

    Anonymous 11:41 is wrong: I continuously tried to buy two OD tickets from early March through the day before OD. I was told none existed, except as part of a season ticket or four-game package. That's because Nats Group Sales took about 25,000 off the market to pimp themselves out to the 215 crowd. This is a pure StanK move, one of the most disgraceful things I've ever been a part of in more than 50 years of attending sporting events. And StanK's excuse, such as it was, was even worse: "That's just what happened."The greatest day this franchise ever had, bar none, was when thta slimy, two-faced , used-car salesman took his measly 2 percent ownership stake and got the hell out of town. Worst. Sports. Team. President. Ever.Take a bow, StanK. Don't let the door hit you.

  50. Nattydread - Dec 31, 2010 at 6:03 AM

    Hey Mark! Happy New Year. One of my highlights was getting a spring training Viera postcard from you. It was really thoughtful of you to send those out. Since I only get back to the US (and Nats games) a few times a year, it's really great to have someone who helps make me part of the action. Your site is a great read with my morning coffee everyday, and again in the afternoon!Thanks!!!

  51. Big Cat - Dec 31, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    Poor Marrero. All the kid does is work hard and hit the baseball. He hit .306 in Puerto Rico this winter. And then he gets trashed on the chat lines.

  52. Another_Sam - Dec 31, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    Sunshine and others – for all entertainment events, sold out doesn't mean no tickets available.. It just means that tickets are expensive. Tickets available means – to the man – that he set the price too high.

  53. Another_Sam - Dec 31, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    @LoveDaNats – For me a week in Viera wouldn't be so appealing. But a week of spring training is fabulous. The guilty pleasure is beyond description. As I indicate above, most of one's time is spent in the ballparks, the rental car, the hotel bar, and the hotel coffee shop. You get a lot of baseball in just a few days. Since the Nats came to town, my drill has been to see as many Nats games in a week as I can and other games that I can get to. BTW Viera still isn't A garden spot but it's come a long way since I've been focused on it due to the Nats.

  54. natsfan1a - Dec 31, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    Thanks for the tips, Another_Sam.

  55. natsfan1a - Dec 31, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    p.s. Just stumbled on this site, to which readers can submit their own ST tips:http://www.springtrainingtips.com/index.php

  56. Savvy_Cynic - Dec 31, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    On marketing savvy – none, nada, zero and zilch pretty much sum up the Nats. Get a storefront in Tysons, have a player stop by now and then, and market to the most affluent shoppers in the country. Tell 'em how easy it is to get to the game on Metro. What a no-brainer. (Comment is redux from last year.) Recall how the Orioles convinced us that they were our team with that Farragut Square marketing program?

  57. Jim Webster - Dec 31, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    JaneB, natsfan1a and others looking into Spring Training trips: We've gone 4 of the 6 years (will skip this one for economy reasons) and stayed each time in rented condos directly on the ocean in Satellite Beach, about a 20-minute drive from Space Coast Stadium. Saw Nats play Dodgers during LA's final stand in Vero Beach, and play Houston at Kissimmee, lots of games at Viera. Advantage of rented condo for two-week stay: buy groceries and cook at home (although we ended up often at Goombay's, great seafood on A1A). We also had kids and grandkids along and they did side trips to Disney, Brevard Zoo, Canaveral, spent plenty of time in the surf.

  58. Section 109 - Dec 31, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    Great post by Mark, great comments earlier and on this one. Jane B., we've been at ST five yrs now & really love it, even though we have time only for one weekend. We've been to Kissimmee once, but otherwise we stick with oft-maligned Viera, which we really like for a short stay. I can't comment on fields other than those, but it's far easier to have proximity to the players at good old Viera. The unfriendly guards at Kissimmee wdn't let us anywhere near the practice fields. (Otherwise the folks at Kissimmee were friendly.) If you want to see practice and get some autographs, Viera is excellent. And Viera is where I first met Mark! One caveat about sitting in the stadium–don't underestimate the sun. And now I'm laughing at myself because what wdn't I give right now for a game in FL in blazing sun? And once ST is here, the season is just moments away!

  59. Sec3MySofa - Dec 31, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    on a related note: anybody going to St. Pete in mid-to-late March?

  60. Scooter - Dec 31, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    I just spent a bunch of time looking at y'all's spring training tips, and also at that springtrainingtips site, dreaming of the Feb/March I will have in 2012.I love each and every one of you.

  61. Another_Sam - Dec 31, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    Webster — I too was at that Nats game in Vero Beach that you refer too. My only game ever in that park. Fabulous. At first I thought it was a Tommy Lasorda lookalike hired to entertain the fans, but it was the guy himself, in a spotless gleaming white Dodger uniform greeting fans under the trees outside the park and posing for pictures. Unbelievable.109 — Kissemme has that runway chute in the left field corner that gives fans a chance to get very close to the players. I like that park okay. And it's easy to see a game there on your first day south. And yes, 109, I can feel the days getting longer now and so spring training is approaching. This time of the year is the worst for me. But there's better things on the horizon.

  62. Section 109 - Jan 1, 2011 at 4:18 AM

    Thanks, Another Sam. We haven't figured out what weekend we'll go down, and if it's the one with the Astros game @ Kissimmee, now I'll know where to hang out.

  63. natsfan1a - Jan 1, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    My thanks, too, as that's the weekend we've been thinking about going due to other commitments.hmmm…do I smell an NI road trip?? :-)

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 86 63 -- 0
ATLANTA 75 76 12.5
MIAMI 73 76 13.5
NEW YORK 72 79 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 18.0
Through Tuesday's early games
x-Clinched division title
UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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