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Updated: Game will start, but slight delay

Aug 23, 2011, 8:33 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Fans wait for the gates to open outside Nationals Park.

Updated at 6:53 p.m.

Tonight's game between the Nationals and Diamondbacks will be played, though the start will be delayed by 20 minutes after engineers spent the afternoon confirming Nationals Park did not suffer any structural damage from this afternoon's 5.9 magnitude earthquake.

Team officials delayed the opening of the main center field gates, which normally open at 4:30 p.m., for about two hours. A line began forming outside the gate and swelled shortly before the gates were finally due to be opened around 6:40 p.m.

First pitch should be at 7:25 p.m.

"As a precautionary measure following today's earthquake, the team delayed opening gates to the ballpark to allow D.C. inspectors and structural engineers to survey the facility prior to tonight's game," the club said in a press release.

The Nationals announced that fans may exchange their unused tickets from this game for tickets of equal or lesser value to any future homeRead more ยป

  1. baseballswami - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Be safe, Mark! Hoping for no significant aftershocks while you all are at the park.

  2. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Everything else is closed. By game time DC will be a ghost town.

  3. CN - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Happy that I can ride my bike to the ballpark, throught traffic, and get a 5.9$ ticket. Perfect.

  5. CN - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Kelly Johnson of the D-backs just traded, so it's one less savvy hitter to worry about. Plus, AZ works with a short bench…http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/6888871/arizona-diamondbacks-trade-kelly-johnson-toronto-blue-jays-aaron-hill-john-mcdonald

  6. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    Don't know whether or not this is so but, fwiw, some dude on MLB Network just stated that the Nats Park CF gate won't be open "until further notice." They also had a live shot with Nats on the field. Yay!

  7. Scooter - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    Glad I'm taking a boat to the game today! GYFNG

  8. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    Thanks to our blog host for his intrepid reporting from traffic. I think we'd all understand if you happened to insert a #&%%!! or two along the way, Mark. :-)

  9. Grandstander - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Kelly Johnson hasn't been too savvy this year. His AVG is lower than Desmond's.Also, fair warning to anyone heading on North 395, MAJOR delays. It's a parking lot from Seminary Rd on up.

  10. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    Yeah, I don't think they get tsunamis on the Potomac, Scooter, so you should be just fine…(I'm just jealous because you get to go to the game.)

  11. Nats Forever - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    That earthquake was no doubt the baseball gods seeking retribution for the recent infestation of Phillies fans–they just misjudged Philadelphia's location.

  12. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    D'oh! Scooped by the Z-man again. And while he's stuck in traffic, no less. Geez. :-)Mark said: UPDATE at 4:45P.M. — The Nationals just announced that the opening of the Center Field Gate will be delayed. The team will provide updates on the status of tonight's game once it has assessed the situation.

  13. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    why is traffic so bad going into the city? I thought all the problems would be for people heading out, not in.

  14. Jeeves - Aug 23, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    Still no comment on Detwiler's excellent September in 2009. Before injury. Amazing. Although a negative comment on Desmond who was pretty good as a rookie last year. If anything you all are consistent.

  15. Scooter - Aug 23, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    I've been kicking around a suggestion for the in-game discussion threads, and Zuckerman's update here just reminded me: when the main post is updated, would it be possible to include the text of that update in a comment — you know, down here in the comments section? I'm sure this is more effort for the blogger, but not sure how much more effort. It also means that when I come read the thread after the fact (blog + comments), I have to read those updates twice. (I don't think it would be too annoying, but others might disagree). But it does mean that those folks who are commenting during the game — the ones who, I suspect, get the most enjoyment out of the exercise — don't have to keep checking both up and down for new content. I would also help me, reading after the fact, to keep track of where in the game the comments are. (Most folks don't include the inning, because they're doing it live.)So, I'm curious what others think. (Assuming, of course, that this is feasible.)

  16. I HOPE It's Game On! - Aug 23, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    The recorded announcement on the Nats Info Line (202-675-NATS, option 5) states that they are delaying the gate opening in light of the earthquake, and that "no game time has been announced." I suppose it is possible they will cancel the game, but I hope not.

  17. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    It would be nice if they put things on the official nationals site – we always find out here first!

  18. Mark'd - Aug 23, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    I am waiting at the gates. What's the hold up?

  19. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    See update Mark'd – D backs can't get to the field. Game delayed but planning on playing.

  20. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    well – we sure are giving the dbacks an interesting welcome, aren't we?

  21. Pat B - Aug 23, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Washington, DC, sets the global standard for overreacting….

  22. baseballswami - Aug 23, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    Pat B — If this had happened when the Dodgers were here they would have been highly amused. Anytime you tell people around here "just go home right now" — it's a disaster. Will they ever learn?

  23. dryw - Aug 23, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    Actually, I check here before I check the official team site. It hasn't been a bad choice yet.

  24. Scooter - Aug 23, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    I see your point, Pat B, and I basically agree. However, I've also been in San Diego when it rained and talked to friends in Massachusetts when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees. It's all about what you're used to, and what your infrastructure can handle.The Nationals are about to invite 10,000 or so guests into their building. I can understand some caution.Anyway, I'm off to catch my boat!

  25. gonatsgo - Aug 23, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    dryw – pretty sad when the official site has nothing. Thanks, Mark for being on top of things – we kid with you a lot, but really appreciate your diligence.

  26. N. Cognito - Aug 23, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    If you park on the street in Southwest, south of Potomac Avenue, be warned. Last night a car, parked at the corner of 1st and S Streets SW, suffered extensive vandalism there – 3 flat tires, busted windshield and writing on the car..

  27. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    The player introduction thing is on masn right now.

  28. MicheleS - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    Is is just me or is Scott Boras creepy?

  29. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    N. Cognito – what did the writing say? Was it targeted against Nats fans?Those darn phoolies….

  30. baseballswami - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    MicheleS – he is creepy – and sleazy – and I wouldn't trust him farther than I could spit. I feel sorry for those 3 young men – they don't know what to say, espcially when Debbie Taylor talks to them. Welcome to Natstown.

  31. In Annandale looking at Google Traffic - yuck... - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Okay, Mark – what's the story? I'm trying to decide whether or not to battle the traffic and head to the yard. Mark'd are the gates open yet? Are they telling you anything?

  32. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    Are we playing b-ball tonight?

  33. baseballswami - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    Watching masn – mid-atlantic sports report – which, by the way is a terrible show – just watching it hoping for news. They have not said one useful word about the situation.

  34. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Just showed a live picture of the field – didn't see any fans but they are prepping the field.

  35. Alan_A - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    As of now, gates not open and no one's saying anything. Though Abe just showed up.

  36. Unkyd - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    I have no idea what Jeeves is talking about… Can someone provide some context? I'll peruse the last couple threads….

  37. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    Gates opening soon.Still trying to start the game on time, though.

  38. Vito - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    Have tickets but I am bailing out. As a STH I will just trade them in for another game, too may unknowns at this point. Heading home to western Fairfax Co. Could be a long drive home.

  39. Golfersal - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    Still waitingOf course the Nats control their website and aren't putting news up because they don't want people not comingVery tacky giving us fans no news while we wait outside

  40. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    Anybody out there in line? Are they really not telling you anything? Now that pre-game is on,there is more info there.

  41. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    Jeeves wants someone to say Detwiler was great in Sept. 2009 and that Desmond was a good hitter last year (but an absolutely horrible fielder).I think he lives in the past.

  42. Alan_A - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    They just let a group in through the season ticket holder's gate. Others still closed.

  43. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    7:25 start

  44. MikeD - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    MASN just said game delayed 20 mins

  45. Alan_A - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    Gates are open.

  46. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    Go, Z'nn! Go, NATS!!

  47. Jim Zurer - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    Gates open…avoid center field gate. Drove in from Chevy Chase without difficulty

  48. Joe Seamhead - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    Well, we live in very far western Montgomery County and if we had known that the game was going to be played by as late as 6:15 we would have tried to get down there, but it was too late when it was finally decided. Darn.

  49. Anonymous - Aug 23, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    I'm having fun imagining what it would be like for the Phillies fans on the stupid buses in that traffic, trying to get home… Oh well, just two days late for that.

  50. MicheleS - Aug 23, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    Well.. props to the Nats to let people exchange tickets for tonights game.

  51. NatinBeantown - Aug 23, 2011 at 11:53 PM

    Scooter,Re: your idea about the post updates within the comments, it's not technically difficult to do, but it is an extra step, repeatedly, for Mark. At a game, he's usually watching the game, chasing story pieces and writing updates. I prefer he use his time to keep the updates frequent and descriptive, rather than spending time replicating comments.

  52. Unkyd - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    Tanx, NatsJack…just found the Jeeves comment, near the end of the prior thread…. I'm with you, Brother Jeeves! Det is improving steadily, and is absolutely in the running for a spot, next year. Many times, injuries can SEEM to be healed and rehabbed, but the proof is in the following season. And the blof seems more or less split, re: Desi Luv, with yours truly in the "Don't Give Up On My Boy" camp…..GYFNGOGOGO!!!!!!

  53. Jeeves - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    Thanks Unkyd. Appreciate your comment. And as usual, NatsJack, your arrogance conveniently allows you to miss the point.

  54. N. Cognito - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    Anonymous said… "N. Cognito – what did the writing say? Was it targeted against Nats fans?Those darn phoolies….Made to appear to be a D-Backs fan, but I think it was indigeounas turds.

  55. Unkyd - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Oboy… Beast HBP…… Here we go….

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