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Series preview: Orioles at Nats

Jun 17, 2011, 3:00 PM EST

Friday, 7:05 p.m. — LHP Zach Britton (6-4, 3.18) vs. RHP Jason Marquis (7-2, 3.67)
TV: MASN, MASN2 Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM

Saturday, 1:05 p.m. — LHP Brian Matusz (1-1, 5.11) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (4-6, 3.10)
TV: MASN, MASN2 Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. — RHP Chris Jakubauskas (1-0, 5.09) vs. LHP Tom Gorzelanny (2-4, 4.25)
TV: MASN, MASN2, Ch. 50 Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM

A season of ups and downs in Baltimore is currently in another downward spiral. Though the Orioles beat the Blue Jays yesterday to snap a 16-game losing streak in Toronto, they needed that 4-3 victory to avoid their fifth straight loss overall. More significantly, they saw their coaching staff undergo a surprising overhaul this week when pitching coach Mark Connor resigned citing personal reasons.

Connor had been manager Buck Showalter's right-hand man in New York, Arizona and Texas previously, so his sudden departure does throw a wrench into the club's overall plan moving forward. Bullpen coach Rick Adair was promoted to pitching coach, and longtime hittingRead more »

  1. Sean Kelly - Jun 17, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    I know there has been a lot criticism about the home run blast submarine horn, but with a wedding in a little over a week my attention has been restricted and that sounds has been sooooo sweet the last few days. Is it growing on anyone else?

  2. Unkyd - Jun 17, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    Congrats, Sean!!

  3. PAY TO PLAY - Jun 17, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    LOVE THE SUBMARINE HORN. I love it so much I want to download it as my ringtone but can't find that exact one!

  4. Anonymous - Jun 17, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Ideally, everyone would be so sick of hearing that horn — seems like if we never heard it, we probably wouldn't be celebrating all these wins lately.

  5. SCNatsFan - Jun 17, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Love the horn… the kleghorn. At least its something different.Huge series for the Nats, at home, to keep the momentum. Don't need a sweep but need to win this series.And at this point with Morse liking 1B (did I hear last night he hadn't made an error in something like 6 years?) LaRoche can be placed on the 500 day DL with Gaudin.

  6. Feel Wood - Jun 17, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    I love the submarine horn. In fact, I love it so much that I e-mailed the Nats to ask if there was any way to get it as a ringtone, and they sent me an mp3. Since I'm a season ticket holder, I used the STH e-mail address. But I would think that any of their customer services e-mail addresses would work too. Give it a shot!

  7. Yes I'm whining, so what? - Jun 17, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    The horn is growing on me but I still miss the fireworks during the national anthem.

  8. Arlington BigFish - Jun 17, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    Love the horn. Now if the Nats would just do something to rid us of that obnoxiously theatrical PA announcer.

  9. HHover - Jun 17, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    SCNatsFanLast night's error was charged to Espinosa, on a bad throw to Morse.

  10. Nats Outsider - Jun 17, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    Not on topic, I realize, but I could use some help. Is anyone using Firefox as their browser and successfully posting comments here? Whenever I want to post something, I have to switch to another browser. In Firefox, clicking Preview makes the comment disappear. Am I doing something wrong, guys?

  11. SayNoToClint - Jun 17, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    Arlington Bigfish — Clint needs to go before the PA announcer.

  12. Arlington BigFish - Jun 17, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    SayNo — Clint: is he young sharpie who does those on-screen contests between innings?

  13. skidge - Jun 17, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    Nats Outsider, I'm not having any trouble, using Firefox 4.0.1. Are you using an earlier version?

  14. Doc - Jun 17, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    When LaRoche returns next spring, he should be considered for bench strength and Mickey Morse's back up.Even having been in a reserve role for most of Morse's MLB career, it seems like 6 years of playing without an error is exceptional.A bunch of Red Birds down, another bunch of Yellow Birds to go!Gooooooooooooooo Nats!!!!

  15. LoveDaNats - Jun 17, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    @ big fishyeah, that's Clint. The Ryan Seacrest of Nats Park.

  16. SCNatsFan - Jun 17, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    HHover – thanks. I was watching it on and they mentioned it during the highlight. Guess my statement was valid for -16 hours.

  17. DFL - Jun 17, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    I guess Bernadina and Nix sit. Riggs line-up guess. Werth RF, Hairston CF, Zimmerman 3b, Morse 1B, Ramos C, Desmond SS, Espinosa 2B, Marquis P, Bixler LF

  18. Tcostant - Jun 17, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    SCNatsFan you are correct, his last error was at SS, that's a long time ago.

  19. Anonymous - Jun 17, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    SCNatsfan-Close, but I believe the horn is called a klaxon.Question: I left for HHI on vacation during the SD series. Does respecting the streak mean that I shouldn't go home?

  20. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 17, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    DFL said… don't get frustrated. Think of Riggs like one of your clueless uncles who keeps building his house in a flood plain and wonders why everywhere he goes his house gets flooded every spring. I would be shocked if he hasn't learned that his new house is partly built on two of the rocks of Bernadina and Nix and not the straw of Bixler and Hairston/Cora. In other words he ain't gonna screw with this lineup right now other than Pudge/Ramos and the pitcher. But I get your angst…

  21. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 17, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Anonymous said… SCNatsfan- Close, but I believe the horn is called a klaxon. Question: I left for HHI on vacation during the SD series. Does respecting the streak mean that I shouldn't go home?I've had the same undergarments on since last Friday. People think I'm from Europe…

  22. DFL - Jun 17, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    But UNTERP, Hairston and Bixler need playing time. And Britton is a lefty and Bixler and Hairston are righties.

  23. SpringfieldFan - Jun 17, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    Years ago, I found Clint annoying. He's really grown on me, and I think he has mellowed as well. SpringfieldSpouse and I went up to Baltimore for the Nats series last month and were really struck by the lack of activity between innings. They had nothing "live" — just games on the scoreboard screen — and we felt that the game-going experience was less because of it. So I guess I've become a Defender of Clint (DoC)…

  24. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 17, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    DFL said… LOL…

  25. Anonymous - Jun 17, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    OK, off topic, but wanted to get a reality check. Last night, after accepting the Nats' invitation to sample the new food in RF, I took a seat in the last row of a center field section (even though my ticket was for the other side of the park). Even though it was nowhere near full, and there was no one else — literally — within two rows of me, the usher came over and made me leave. What gives? Should the Nats really be enforcing this rule strictly under these circumstances? If it's crowded, that's one thing, and if the rightful seat holder showed up, obviously I'd leave. But it wasn't the darn Presidents Club, it was way out in CF in a more than half empty stadium. The usher was utterly obnoxious about it, like on a power trip or something. Was I in the wrong? Or should the Nats give their employees the right to exercise some discretion?!

  26. DFL - Jun 17, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    Question: Which ballplayer of the past is most like Bixler in BB to K ratio. He walked only 25 times and struck out 254 times yest managed to play parts of 9 seasons in the bigs. Hint- he replaced Bert Campaneris.

  27. SCNatsFan - Jun 17, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Unterp – For such a short post I have 2 errors. I expect the flogging to begin!As for HHI, I live in Myrtle Beach so residing in the state usually has no bearing on the Nats. Still I hope you enjoyed the island, mellow vacation place.

  28. Grandstander - Jun 17, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Riggs isn't going to start Nix and Bernadina against a lefty. Hell, he'd probably bench Ryan Howard against lefties.Remember, the last lefty we faced, he put in Ankiel and Hairston and Garcia pitched a pretty clean game, 6.0, 8H, 2ER, 1BB, 7K. It wasn't until Batista came in that we started piling on. With the way this team is heating up though, I doubt even starting Matt Stairs in left would cool them down.

  29. P. Cole - Jun 17, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Clint sucks. I'd rather have Screech or Matt Stairs do the between-innings promos.

  30. Alan_A - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    @Springfield Fan -I'd be grateful for lack of activity between innings, and useful information like out-of-town games and lineups on the scoreboard. The Nats' entertainment routine always makes me feel that they're embarassed to be inflicting this awful, boring thing called baseball on us, and feel compelled to keep jumping around and performing to make sure we're properly distracted and entertained.But then, I'm a throwback, I guess. I still have fond memories of an afternoon at Shea in the late '80's when the PA system failed, and for three innings there was nothing but the sound from the field. It was like time-traveling back to the '30's – a good thing.But I suspect I'm probably in the minority here.

  31. Alan_A - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    @Anonymous 1:42 -To me, that's one more sign that they don't get what the baseball experience is supposed to be.

  32. David Moore - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    Anonymous at 1:42 PM said…What gives? Should the Nats really be enforcing this rule strictly under these circumstances? If it's crowded, that's one thing, and if the rightful seat holder showed up, obviously I'd leave. But it wasn't the darn Presidents Club, it was way out in CF in a more than half empty stadium. The usher was utterly obnoxious about it, like on a power trip or something. Was I in the wrong? Or should the Nats give their employees the right to exercise some discretion?!____They don't want to have to clean that section. If no one sits in it for the game they don't have to come thru and sweep/clean. So they chase people out. They do the same thing up top too. It is pretty standard in most stadiums.

  33. JaneB - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Alan A…. I was at that Mets game, too…unless it happened twice. Lots of people around me said it was like the ay they remembered it as kids. Somebody who was scoring the game started to "call" it for us, but he got shut down pretty fast. Anon 1:16, absolutely no leaving HHI till further notice.I was mad at the horn, but now I like it. As for the in between game stuff, they have to STOP calling it "the main event." i am a pretty mellow person and it makes me mad every single time. And they should get rid of the culture of lovable losers for real and let Teddy win, his losing is a throw back to when the presidents used to race on behalf of various banks of seats a RFK, and Teddy had the rich seats. Couldn't let him win then. But those days are over an it's time to make it a real race. Just like we got us a real team.

  34. Traveler8 - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    @ Alan_A,One of my best memories from Nats Park occurred about a year ago,when the scoreboard went down for a couple of innings, and the announcer without flash announced only who was batting, and the result of the at-bat. Otherwise we just watched the game. Lovely.

  35. A DC Wonk - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Hey, anybody remember last summer when certain Mr. Negatives were "proving" to us that Riggs had to go, by pointing out that what the Nats needed was a manager just like Showalter? How Sholwalter lit a fire under the O's and was turning them around?Whatever happened to those comments? ;-)=======P.S. Put me in the "I hate Clint's shtick" group, too.

  36. Alan_A - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    @David Moore -I know you were addressing anonymous, but for what it's worth… I was thinking back to my father's stories about slipping the usher at the Polo Ground $5, and getting seated in the field boxes…How much cleaning do they do? Every time there's been a rainstorm (basically every day), my seats are filthy afterward, and I have to run around the concourse on the 300 level looking for an usher to towel off the seats. Or, more often, I just grab a bunch of napkins from one of the condiment stands and do it myself. I did once see an usher vigorously cleaning hundreds of empty seats in a remote section that probably was going to stay empty, while the rest of us managed on our own. I'm sure there's a system – I just can't tell what it is.

  37. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    @Alan – they do have out-of-town in-game scores, on the wall in right-center.

  38. A DC Wonk - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    I've long suspected that Teddy will win on the day that we clinch a playoff spot — and probably not before then.(But I don't mind — just as I've been patient with the Nats, I can be patient with Teddy)

  39. Alan_A - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    @JaneB -I'm sure that was the same game. I can't remember it happening any other time and I was out there a lot. What a beautiful afternoon. Maybe worth mentioning to the MLB competition committee, as long as they're thinking creatively about things…@Traveler8I'm sorry I missed that (*wonders idly where the power line to the scoreboard is*…)

  40. Not Anon - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Can't complain about the Nats, so we gotta hear complaints about the ushers? Sheeesh

  41. Anonymous - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    I love the horn but I think it should be MUCH LOUDER!!!!!!!!!

  42. Alan_A - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    @Sec3 -I know, but they keep pulling them down to run ad/promotion graphics between innings, when you'd really like to look at them.I also miss having lineups visible all the time – and before the game, when you could use them to fill out a scorecard. But I've gotten used to pulling it off the Internet (thanks, Mark!)… so we make do…

  43. Alan_A - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    @Not Anon -I think what we're trying to say is that the ballpark experience should measure up to the team – or at least not undercut the feeling of being at a ballpark.As frat parties go, it's not bad, though…

  44. Anonymous - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    @Alan_A–Totally agree. The team is doing great – the fan experience at the park leaves much to be desired. There is no reason for ushers to chase people out of outfield seats on a non-crowded night. Keeping people out of the very expensive seats — fine. Gotta make sure those folks feel they're getting their $'s worth. But in the outfield, come on! It's just silly. And as to my original comment, the cleaning can't be the excuse – there were plenty of people several rows ahead in the section, just none toward the back. No – this lady was either just using the chance to engage in a power trip, or else has been given NO discretion to judge the situation and act appropriately. Either way, not good.(And this is to say nothing of the continuing surly attitude of many of the food vending staff. Honestly, who wants to be yelled at or spoken to condescendingly WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO SPEND MONEY.)

  45. WhyNat - Jun 17, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    I think it's called marketing. Not everyone is a lifetime baseball purist. New and varied approaches. New fans. Young fans. More fans! Go Nats!First year STH

  46. WhyNat - Jun 17, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    Also, I think it depends alot on the usher. During the second game of the Brewers double header, my wife and I were standing behind the LF seats in the plaza just to take a break, and the Usher actually unsolicited invited us to come sit in her section. Maybe she was fishing for a tip, but she just came accross as friendly and accomodating.

  47. N. Cognito - Jun 17, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    Many of the ushers and food staff have been a problem since 2005.It's mostly because of the hiring pool, but then there's also Pin Lady – is she still there?

  48. Anonymous - Jun 17, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    "It's mostly because of the hiring pool"Don't we have record unemployment!?

  49. FS - Jun 17, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    Anon 2:51, I have not been to Nationals Stadium enough times to know about food vending staff, but I am sure it is worst in Baltimore, especially when you are not an Os fan. The atmosphere at Camden Yards tend to get rowdy more often than I like. One good thing about Os park is ushers dont chase you out from empty sections.

  50. Alan_A - Jun 17, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    @WhyNat -Well, there's marketing and there's marketing. Innovation can be a good thing. But it's not a good thing to alienate loyal, core, repeat buyers to attract new ones who don't get your product, are there for the novelty, and will float off to the next new thing as soon as there is one. You risk alienating both groups.It's not easy. It's a balancing act. But balancing acts take… balance.By the way, I deal with this sort of issue for a living, so for once I'm not just jawing.Well, maybe that too, just a little…

  51. FS - Jun 17, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    Let us be realistic, no game will survive without casual fans, who like between innings nonsense.One good thing about baseball is that there are no cheerleaders. I am really happy for that. Let the fans take care of cheering.Oh and excited to RH Danny today and tomorrow.

  52. Alan_A - Jun 17, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    @WhyNat -Re: the ushers – you're right, it comes down to individuals. What the organization can do is give them some basic orientation and training, and also give them the leeway to solve problems on their own or take initiative, like yours did. The more rigid and punitive the system, the worse the service gets.

  53. Alan_A - Jun 17, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    @FS -Agreed. But I think you can do both.I enjoyed my silent 1930's day at Shea. I also have fond memories of The Curly Shuffle on Diamondvision in the bottom of the eighth. There are many ways to get it right.

  54. natsfan1a - Jun 17, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    Ya know, in all my years of attending games at RFK and now Nats Park, I've never run into a surly employee (overwhelmed by a rush on occasion, yes). On the contrary, I've run into many who were very friendly and accommodating. Maybe I'm just lucky.I did have one bad experience in the club seats at RFK (not our usual seats but we got them as a special treat). We were seated over the home bullpen and at one point an usher approached us and said that somebody had been throwing stuff into the 'pen and they suspected it was us. To our left was a family with young children, to our right was a cohort of young, drunken Braves fans. But the powers-that-be fingered the boring middle-aged couple for the dastardly deed. We hadn't done it, and I told her so. She left without asking any other fans about it, and I felt uncomfortable for the rest of the game. Geez, if I was going to throw stuff, I'd at least target the *visiting* pen, and I was wearing my full Nats regalia, too. Just kidding, 'cause I'm not that type of gal.Re. the horn, I missed (miss) the fireworks, but I'm getting used to it. I second JaneB re. Teddy. Make it a real race. Otherwise, it's run its course, so to speak.

  55. Alan_A - Jun 17, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Whoops – time for me to head out there and sample the service….You can't beat field research!

  56. Anonymous - Jun 17, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Clint's okay–tossing shirts into the upper deck is cool. But the silly games (blowing bubble gum and tossing pizza?) gotta go. I was at Tigers' stadium (Marchant) during ST–their 75th anniversary there. They has some really funny stuff going on between innings. Most of ours are lame.

  57. SayNoToClint - Jun 17, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    I've had just the opposite experience with the ushers as many here — I find them to be stunningly uncaring. I'm a half season ticket holder in the lower bowl, first base side and I have yet to be asked to show a ticket except on Opening Day.We actually moved our seats mid-season this year because of the constant parade of people up and down the aisle during at-bats. All while the usher just stands at the top of the aisle or even worse SEATS PEOPLE DURING AN INNING.When I asked an usher about this, she told me that they've been instructed not to stop anyone and to let them go wherever they want. I was told the same thing by my season ticket account rep, and that I should send an email or a letter for her to forward on to the "powers that be."

  58. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 17, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    "When I asked an usher about this, she told me that they've been instructed not to stop anyone and to let them go wherever they want."except their precious batter's eye grass, to get a baseball.Harrumph.

  59. Navy Nats Fan - Jun 17, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    For those still following this thread, I posted some info about Klaxons ("submarine horns") on the Game 70 thread here.





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