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Harper’s continuing contribution

Aug 20, 2012, 1:28 AM EST

Associated Press photo
Bryce Harper recorded his 12th homer and his sixth triple of the season.

There’s no player inside the Nationals clubhouse who holds himself to a higher standard than Bryce Harper. That’s what happens when you spend most of your 19 years under an intense spotlight and and do things to this point no ballplayer has ever done.

So it’s not surprising Harper is kind of down on himself these days as he battles through the first prolonged slump of his life. Not only is he not leading his team in every offensive category, but he’s actually being benched every once in a while by a manager who is simply trying to get the most out of the 25 players on his roster.

Stop, though, and consider how much Harper has already accomplished in less than four months in the big leagues. He’s hit 12 homers (the latest coming Sunday during a 5-2 victory over the Mets). He’s totaled 34 extra-base hits. He’s scored 65 runs. He’s stolen 13 bases.

Most importantly, he’s been a significant contributor on a first-place club, and he’s done it at the age of 19.
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  1. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Looks like maybe the days off are enough of a rest for him after all … he will get another this week and then the following week plus any Davey might determine he needs. Point is, resting him frequently at this point seems to be working. I hope they keep doing it he'll get plenty of action and adventure in the playoffs.

  2. SonnyG10 - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    I can feel how important Bryce is to the team by how uncomfortable I am when he is not in the game. Just having that potential there is a comfort.

  3. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:00 AM

    The cat is a hell of a fielder. I think he deserves the chance to prove he belongs. Ed Kranepool hit 12 home runs before he hit the age of 20. If Harper is no better than Ed Kranepool, than the Nats are in huge trouble.Now, Mickey Mantle hit 13 home runs before the age of 20. If Harper can at least equal that, than the Nats should be A-OK. I mean Mickey Mantle–that cat was definitely a worthwhile player. So, let's all hope that Bryce can get one more homer this year!

  4. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    I think the 6 triples and 12 homers which hasn't been done speaks volumes. Throw in the 16 doubles. I think he may already be there. He just needs to get the OBP and OPS up some and he's fine.

  5. sjm308 - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    Let me get this straight – If he "only" hits 12 homeruns, he is a bum and the Nationals are in trouble. If he hits one more, he is a Hall of Famer. Very interesting thought process. Not sure you are going to get many to agree though.He is fun to watch, offensively and defensively and I feel we have a great chance at keeping him. I think he loves winning and that is what we are all about this year (& hopefully, years to come).Go Nats!

  6. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    That's an interesting point … the fact that the Nats get to win for the very first time … and a DC baseball team wins in just about forever … in Harper's rookie year may indeed have a beneficial effect.As he gains more experience he'll become a leader to boot.Yes, the Lerners do have a great shot at keeping him from 26 years old on.

  7. Section 222 - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    Reposting from the previous thread, since it's on point for this one:Harper has 12 homeruns in the 97 games he's played. If he plays all 42 remaining games (which he won't but bear with me) and hits homers at the same rate that he's hit them so far (including his horrible slump since the ASG), he would hit five more. That would give him more homers than any 19 year old in history except for Conigliaro and Ott. If he gets hot, he has a legitimate shot at passing Ott too. Wow. Just wow.

  8. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:03 AM

    Given all the various, often conflicting player-development theories that were posited here — and elsewhere — before the season began, we should all be delighted that we're getting to see one being tested right in front of our eyes. And what a success the experiment has been, even if absolute perfection has eluded Mr. Harper. But who needs perfection? Anyone who can get a hit 1/4 of the time he faces major league pitching deserves high praise. And doing it at age 19 — along with some legitimate power, good and getting better defense, aggressive base running, etc. — deserves even higher praise. My guess (and that's all it is, not a prediction and certainly not a guarantee) is that Mr. Harper will rise to the challenge of the pennant race over the coming six weeks and then be even more impressive next year — akin to Mr. Trout in his 20-year-old season. I can't wait to watch that, although I'm also content to take my time and enjoy the rest of this magical season.P.S. – I think the difference between Mickey Mantle and Ed Kranepool might have been a bit more significant than just the one-extra-home-run-before-age-20 cited above. But I assume that was written with a tongue placed firmly in Justice Douglas's cheek.

  9. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 5:23 AM

    Davey does a good job of balancing his finishing school for player development along with winning games and series. And Bryce Harper is the star pupil one might say. But, there are plenty of others.So, I am going to be very interested to see what he does with his expanded roster as historically he enjoys having a much expanded roster. I firmly believe that even in the midst of a pennant race he will find ways to use the players he brings on board.

  10. snopes1 - Aug 20, 2012 at 5:26 AM

    I think William O Douglas Loeffler is having a little fun with mix & match statistics. While it may be impressive that Bryce Harper is in an elite group if you look at players who have hit 12 or more home runs in their "age 19 season" (as Mark put it), it is a slightly less impressive group if you phrase it as players who have hit 12 or more home runs as teenagers. Ed Kranepool, come on down!

  11. BigCat - Aug 20, 2012 at 5:41 AM

    The kid gettin hot at the right time. Lets kick the Braves butts 3 times and send them packin!

  12. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    Is it just my imagination or did Harp hit that triple and HR using Werth's bat? Werth has a two-toned bat with a blonde handle and a contrasting black barrel, with a stark dividing line right about in the middle.Harp used an identically colored bat yesterday. Since he did so well with it, he is bound to use it again, tonight. Since Werth also got 2 hits, he will use that same bat tonight, as well. Harp had been using all blonde bats that were discolored only with pine tar. I think it was Ghost who mentioned last week that Harp was experimenting with a variety of bats to work his way out of his 2-month slump. It appears that Werth's did the trick. Check it out tonight. Maybe Harp is primed to go off on one of his batting rampages, as he did in the middle of the AFL season last fall. The timing could not be better.

  13. Another_Sam - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    IMHO one of the stories is the stunning job, on the field, in public statements, and presumably in clubhouse conversations, Davy has done managing each player's contribution — including riding out Harper's offensive slump. I think that Davy's quite a class act.

  14. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    And I will add IMHO – that one of the stories is the stunning job that Bryce has done off the field. Is this what you all expected? I think most people expected more drama, a brat, shenanigans of all sorts from a 19 year old. This kid has been a model citizen. When Stras was new he was really protected – not so with Bryce. He is obviously doing work in the community, everything he says is scrutinized. I have to say that I really like this kid a lot and his teammates seem to like him, too. Not to mention that fact that players throughout the league seem to have positive impressions of him and he is rarely criticized in the press ( StrasNoMas getting all the attention?). Off the field this has worked out way better than I ever would have hoped. It's not just his talent that is ahead of his years, it seems to be his maturity and character, too. I would like to shake the hands of his parents and coaches.

  15. Nats In Athens - Aug 20, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    I look at this season as a bonus, and all of Nats Town should do the same. We all expected a winning record, but no one expected what we got here. And with Bryce I feel the same way. Here is a 19 year old kid, with half a season in the minors, who became an outfielder just over a year ago and who people now look at (and justly) as a good, potentially great, fielder. This is all gravy to me.So I will go on savoring this year all the while knowing that there are still better years ahead!

  16. sjm308 - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    It does amaze me that two years ago this young man was a catcher! I can't imagine how hard it is to learn how to track a ball off the bat, position yourself, make the proper throws etc. when you have never done it. Not in Little League, High School, Junior College. He had two minor league years and now he is honestly considered one of our best outfielders. He will only get better in the field and he will also make the proper adjustments offensively because that IS something he has done all his life.Pretty damn exciting that we get to watch that improvement on a daily basis and in person.Go Nats!!

  17. Joe Seamhead - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    We took my grandson to his first MLB game yesterday. We went in spite of an ominous weather forecast because this day had been promised for his 8th birthday present. We got to the stadium real early so as he could look around, and we took him to the team store to get a new cap and jersey. He got to choose what player's name to get, and finally Bryce Harper won out over Steven Strasburg.[I would've killed to have gotten anything so cool when I was a kid!] Then the rain came.I was already worried about how his attention span would hold up for a regular game, but then the game was delayed 2 1/2 hours. Nicky not only stuck it out, but wanted to stay for the whole game! He followed every pitch & play better then many adults that we go with! BTW, his new hero Bryce Harper hit a triple and a home run, and the Nats won 5-2!

  18. sjm308 - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    It is now OFF but I turned on 980am just to see if they would really spend four hours on a stupid exhibition game of a team that has finished last for two straight years instead of a first place team. Should have figured since it's owned by Snyder what they would do but just wanted to make sure. So sad. I don't want each game analyzed but wait till we make the playoffs and see how quick Andy Polan & Kevin Sheehan jump on the bandwagon. If they are broadcasting from the Fairgrounds I will personally go and let them know how I feel.

  19. MicheleS - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    JoeSHow great! He already wants to stay the ENTIRE Game and the rain delay included! What a trooper! Think of all the years you 2 have ahead to go to games together.

  20. sjm308 - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Think of all the money you will spend on concession food! That was the main strategy we used to keep my youngest kid happy for 9 innings. The older one was happy to just watch the game and still is!!We now share a 20 game package.Go Nats!

  21. Joe Seamhead - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    MicheleS, My daughter was a little besides herself waiting at home. I hate cell phones, don't have one. She gets freaked about that if I take him and his brother to breakfast! Gone from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. when we originally thought we'd be home by 5:00 was traumatic for her! BTW, I rarely would 2nd guess Davey, but I was surprised that Lombo didn't start yesterday. We saw him doing long toss before the game and he looked fine. Then Espy hits a dinger, Desi and Espy turned a great DP, so what can you say?

  22. Joe Seamhead - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    sjm308 said… Think of all the money you will spend on concession food! ________________________ I blew a bundle yesterday. With the long delay you do use popcorn, peanuts, candy coated snacks, chicken fingers, sodas, ice cream, hot dogs etc. as a diversion. Would you believe the kid didn't need/want to go to the john once after the game started?

  23. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 20, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    @joe seamhead: Congratulations on being cell phone-free. I thought I was the only dinosaur left. Way to go! Congratulations!

  24. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    @MicheleS: Great seeing you. Funny story: Didn't get home from the game until 8 p.m. Wife was at the beach all week, comes home last night around 7:30. I'm not there. I walk in at 8. Asks where I've been (she knew I was going to the ballgame, but probably expected me around 6 p.m. or so). I just simply said, "I ran into MicheleS at the game." Then I 'fessed up and told her the truth about the rain delay. Still married!Going out tonight? I'm in 136 with two Mormons. Come on by. I need a report on the cookies!

  25. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    @Athens: I was looking at this as bonus time too. We're all playing with house money now. But the more I look at our improvement, the way we're playing and the lackluster competition (Yeah, Fredi, I'm talking about your Barves), the more I think THIS is our year. We're on track to get home field in the playoffs, we have home field in the WS. The future is now, as somebody once said around here. The five-year plan has become a two-month plan for me. Let's win it all! NOW. I'm greedy.

  26. baseballswami - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    I keep reminding myself to enjoy the ride – this next three days will be the test.That's what we are all hearing. But I am trying to keep in mind that it really isn't. These three days could go any way at all and then there are still maybe 37 games left. It really is too early to be decided yet. If this was a month later? Yes. That being said – I hope we take the Barves to school!

  27. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Definitely enjoying it here. As we were walking from the Metro on the way home from yesterday afternoon's, er, evening's game, I stated to my husband, "It sure is fun to have a team that's winning consistently." (I guess the executive summary would be, "Duh, winning." :-))Random game-related observation, there were a couple of trainer dudes in matching blue gym-suit outfits who were observing and stretching Mets players before the delayed game began. They kinda reminded me of Hans and Franz from back in the day, so my husband was treated to comments like, "We're going to pump you up." Lucky him. :-)

  30. Gonat - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Harper: "I'm never satisfied w/ my work. I'm never satisfied w/ anything I do. We're in 1st place & that's the biggest thing I care about." — Dan Kolko (@masnKolko)

  31. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    @1a: I saw those two guys too. I thought they were rejections from walk-on tryouts for the Blue Man Group.

  32. A DC Wonk - Aug 20, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    But the more I look at our improvement, the way we're playing and the lackluster competition (Yeah, Fredi, I'm talking about your Barves)Careful there! Don't tempt the baseball gds!There are many who think the Braves are the second best team in the NL. (And that the Reds are a bit overrated because they get to play so many games against the Astros)

  33. Unknown - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Bryce hit only .243 at Syracuse and .258 at Harrisburg, so the comment about the "first prolonged slump of his life" is a little hard to understand. Any how, he's a joy to watch, even while he's getting experience and learning on the job.

  34. A DC Wonk - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    FWIW, Harper is also 3rd on the team in walks (none intentional) and 2nd in runs scored.

  35. A DC Wonk - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Bryce hit only .243 at Syracuse and .258 at Harrisburg, so the comment about the "first prolonged slump of his life" is a little hard to understand.He only played 37 games at Harrisburg, and only slumped at the beginning — nothing prolonged.At Syracuse, he only played 21 games, and was already breaking out of his slump there.So, it's actually accurate to say: nothing prolonged till the past two months.

  36. JaneB - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Laddie, I noticed that distinctive bat, too. And I was wondering the same thing. I think the whole, "How I choose my bat and then how I fix it up" thing is fascinating. Not that I know much about it. It seems part superstition and part science and part baseball anthropology.Looking forward to tonight…hope the rains come well before or well after so no more delays!Like Section 222 and so many others, I am really enjoying this run. As a (reformed) Mets fan, I always wanted to get to the end of the season, when they were in contention, to know the end of the story. Maybe it's that I'm just older now, but this summer I am totally enjoying the ride. We will end up where we end up, and I'll spend a fortune watching from the seats…or not. But I am loving every inning of every game. Last week in Tecate, Mexico, a local asked me about Bryce Harper. Two people from Germany had opinions about the Stras shut down. One pilates class spent a solid, no exaggeration five minutes talking about the inverted W of his pitching arm, and why his posture is the way it is. I was the only person in that class from this area. I was offered $50 for my Drew Storen 25 shirt (this person was from Ohio) because he never actually played in that number. People are PAYING ATTENTION to our Nats!

  37. MicheleS - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Sunshine! Cookies were awesome! Nephew was eating the during the rain delay. Won't be there tonight. Will be there the next few games with business (blah).

  38. fast eddie - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    As a long-suffering Senators/Nats fan, I'm thoroughly enjoying every inning of this season on MASN (I was in Viera for ST but live in SC). My mind just fast-forwarded to November and I got depressed. What do we do then–follow the Deadskins?I need something to look forward to. Anybody know when pitchers and catchers report next spring???

  39. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    @Michele: Glad to hear it. If the nephew stays happy, we're happy.

  40. Jim Webster - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    My screed to WaPo this morning:To the Editor,The teaser at the bottom of today’s front page – “No lasting hurt in Redskins’ loss” – set me up for my usual morning disappointment by turning to the sports page and finding the primary attention paid to a losing football team with a hapless owner and fumbling coach, while neglecting the nation’s hottest baseball team in a reawakening baseball town.Imagine my pleasant surprise, then, as I pulled out the sports section to see the three-column picture of Bryce Harper after he hit his 12th home run yesterday, the story about the Nationals Game, Tom Boswell’s incisive-as-always column, a bylined (possibly freelanced?) piece on the Atlanta game, and sidebars on Ian Desmond and Ryan Mattheus.What a welcome turnabout from the routine inattention that the Post has been devoting to our still-new baseball team for most of the Nationals’ now nearly eight-year run. One can only hope that the delayed recognition will continue. Perhaps you can reclaim Dave Sheinin and his unparalleled experience for the Nationals’ stretch run, the playoffs and – you better believe – the World Series. You need Adam Kilgore to cut his honeymoon short and tear Barry Svrluga away from the football losers to provide a perspective about the change from the early days of the franchise in Washington. One needs to be assigned to the Braves for the duration of the season to build contacts with players and sources to give your readers insights that are not found in wire service summaries. And you need more good color photographs.That we and the vast majority of fans sat through a rain delay of nearly 2 ½ hours to watch yesterday’s victory is testimony to the rapidly-building interest in this lovable bunch of winners. Victory vindicates us hardy souls who waited on hold in November 2004 to talk to an operator to buy season tickets for baseball’s return to Washington, and who never wavered in loyalty since. We have wandered in the desert, and now can see the Promised Land.Perhaps when we win the National League pennant – and, after that, the big prize itself – we might see the Post devote the same amount of ink and devotion to the Nationals that it accords to every game the Redskins lose.

  41. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    What are these Deadskins you speak of? Eh, never mind. ;-)Well, there's always the Arizona Fall League. My hubby and I are pondering our first trip there. And then there's winter ball. And, um, do you get MLB Network? Since it came into being it's provided me with a great alternative to staring out the window and waiting for spring. :-)

  42. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    btw, that was in response to Fast Eddie. :-)For Jim, I believe that the gamer byline was for the Post's second Nats beat guy, James Wagner. They added him some time ago, if memory serves.

  43. NCNatsie - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Eddie, the way to get through November and the whole off-season is with NI!! Mark Z's gift to humanity is the perfect hot-stove bridge from season to season. Last year it was all about the hope that the Nats would finally be as good as we thought they might. Worriers worried about their worries. Pollywnnas dreamed their fondest dreams. This year…

  44. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Just a quick note to Another Sam and MicheleS on Saturday nite. Swift Eagle outdid himself and hooked us up with Diamond Club wristbands and seats 4 rows behind the Nats dugout closest to home plate so I wasn't in my usual haunts of section 235.But I did get to meet Joe Seamhead Friday nite and fast Eddie stopped by and Saturday Andrew (formerly Anonymous8) and Gonat hooked up with us for a minute after the game. Also got to spend some quality minutes withe the Grand PuuBahh himself, the Markmeister before first pitch Saturday.Next trip is Thursday nite the 20th of September for the last Dodger game and the first two Brewers games Friday and Saturday. We all definitely need to hook up sometime that weekend.

  45. mick - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    I may head at tonight to the park, excited indeed!!

  46. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Oh.. and Joe… great story on your grandson yesterday. I'm envious of the journey that you two have embarked upon. May you two share many more experiences just like yesterday. My Grandfather took me to County Stadium when I was a kid to see the Braves in their 1957 – 1958 heydays. I got to return the favor in 1990 when he figured he was too old to traverse a ball park but I convinced their was no harm in utilizing handicap parking spaces and a wheel chair. He got to watch his last live baseball with me. Makes me tear up thinking about it.

  47. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Brief scheduling note, evidently Fox is picking up the September 1 and 15 games, which are now slated for 4:05 start times.

  48. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Well, I'll be darned. The info was there when I cut and pasted the link, I swear. Guess you'll just have to trust me on that. :-)

  49. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    And would be fun to have an NI meetup (assuming that you're looking to cast a wide net, NatsJack).

  50. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    That's my intention 1a. I'n up to 22 in the number of Insider's I've personally met. Plus a couple of lurkers have stopped me when they've seen my "NATSJACK" shersey.

  51. 320R2S15 - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Wagner is goofy.

  52. MicheleS - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    SJM308.. from our conversation on where I sit with the season tickets. I think I finally have an answer to my persnikty partner's issue with sitting in the lower bowl. He has season tickets to that pointy ball team and they are club level and he likes to be close to the action. But I think it's because he can't see! Uh hello, get some glasses. But If I have to indulge the point ball team, and he indulges me on the Nats, it's a little sacrifice I am willing to make to sit in the lower bowl.

  53. Fear and Ignorance - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Joe-Make sure he saves his ticket stub. I have been saving mine for the past 10 years or so, but really wish I would have done so my whole life. Really cool going back to look at some of my old tickets and trying to remember what took place during the game. Some of the highlights…Bonds 700th HR at AT&T Park, Randy Johnson's 300th Win, Strasburg's 1st Game, Tiger Wood's winning on Sunday at the PGA Championship, etc. However, it sure would be nice to have some of the old ones…Braves vs. Mets July 4, 1985-19 inning game with fireworks going off at 4:30 in the morning. Rick Camp hit his one and only career HR to tie it back up in the 18th…1991 NFC Championship game, 1999 BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans, 1996 ALCS, etc. BTW, pretty cool story about the little 9-month old kid who saw both perfect games in Seattle this year…his only 2 games ever. Pretty amazing story.

  54. Section 222 - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    James Wagner did the gamer of the Nats game, but Jim Webster in his excellent screed was referring to the story about the Braves that was also in the sport section this morning. It was by Ray Glier, who is a freelance writer in Atlanta and has written several books, mostly about football. Like JimW, I take it as a pretty good sign that the Post is publishing a freelance article about the Braves. Good on them.

  55. MicheleS - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    OMG.. Curt Schilling is actually sounding reasonable on the Stras subject! WOW just great!!!

  56. natsfan1a - Aug 20, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Thanks, 222, I didn't realize there was more than one story. Agreed that's a good sign.

  57. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Atlanta Braves:Beware theNatsMantis Strikes!

  58. peric - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Braves outfielders beware … The Blue Plains Monster is luriking in the outfield grass, waiting for you! Let those balls fall and save your own life!

  59. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    I save all my stubs and make little notes on them! Then I store them in plastic baggies along with those "pseudo" baseball cards you get in the programs. I'll miss doing that next year when the red card becomes your ticket (for STH's). They said you can get souvenir tickets for Opening Day–and, of course, for the 2013 World Series–but it won't be the same. Also, on my wall calendar I highlight every win and put a red mark for every loss. This month looks pretty fine, so far.

  60. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    NatsLady, I thought I was a fanatic. Got nothin' on you.

  61. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    MicheleS, where is this voice of reason? Link, if possible. Also, thanks for the scorecard. Never did meet Joe Seamhead though I sat around sec. 318 for quite a while and chatted with the "locals" over there…Do we know for sure it was a preying mantis? I only caught a little of the Yanks game, but I'm not sure why Carl Crawford shouldn't have his surgery? He's supposed to tough it out because the BoSox have a 4% playoff chance (1% for the division) instead of having the TJ and preparing for next season? I can at least sort of grasp the counterargument on Stras, but that one I don't get at all.I saw that about the time change on Sept 1. Not sure if I should sell back my ticket or hope for a rain delay. Can't make a 4:05 game, I barely make the 7:05 starts…Nevertheless, it's nice to be on TV, I'm really tired of Yanks-RedSox.

  62. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Laddie, I am so addicted. I'm dreading November. Will be sending back my cable box and putting away the Nats jerseys etc. A real sad moment in my year…

  63. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 20, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    "As a (reformed) Mets fan, I always wanted to get to the end of the season, when they were in contention, to know the end of the story."Me, too. I used to love that team. When they finally won their first WS, I was in Vietnam. Couldn't believe the 1969 Miracle Mets had actually happened, and I missed the whole thing. Same thing with the Knicks' first championship in June 1970. I was listening to game 6 of their series final with the Lakers while waiting for my flight back to the states. I actually missed my flight because the game went into overtime and I couldn't turn off the radio until I knew who won. That was the game Jerry West hit a 75' jump shot as time ran out to tie the game and send it into overtime.Next morning was the biggest rocket attack of the entire war, and we had a front row seat. I still think about how Jerry West's shot might have got me killed. By the time I got home, the Knicks were champs, and I missed that, too.But I ain't goin' nowhere until the Nats are world champs.

  64. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    "Laddie, I am so addicted. I'm dreading November."Yeah. I don't even watch the Skins' pre-season games now. I could care less. I used to be a Wizards fanatic, too, but that is so over. These Nats are special. But I will finally be able to get back to a normal life in November. I so way behind on so much stuff it will take me all winter to get ready for next ST. I plan on going down next year.

  65. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    "We took my grandson to his first MLB game yesterday."Great story, Joe. I had a fun time watching the little ones make the best of the rain delay. They all wanted to high-five Teddy. The whole park seemed to turn into a playground for them. It was almost better than watching the game.

  66. Expos4Ever - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    "Beware theNatsMantis Strikes!"Beware … Nats … strikes … been an Expos fans all my life, those are words I don't like seeing together! haha

  67. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Since it was raining, I tried out the Stars and Stripes Club. Crowded and with the Team Store right there I bought more earrings! Ate something and sat with strangers while I did (nice folks) but I zipped out of there as soon as I could, because what is the point of living in a humid sub-tropical climate if your freeze your butt off in a/c?Went back out into the warm rain where I belong…

  68. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Laddie, I am so behind in "normal life" stuff. My bills are paid, my cat is fed and my plants are watered and the Nats are winning. Priorities. My family knows better than to expect birthday cards…

  69. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    NatsLadyWe had a bit of a disaster yesterday. A relative arranged for us to have comp seats, but you have to go to the Home Plate Gate to pick them up. We could not pick them up until 2 hours before the game, so we all walked around the stadium to get to the Home Plate Gate.The relative who arranged for the tickets wanted to come to her first Nats game. But she had knee replacement surgery a couple of years ago, and the walk around the stadium was an ordeal for her. I thought she was going to collapse, but she is a gamer. When we finally got inside, we all stayed on the concourse with her because we were afraid she might trip and fall going down the steps, or that she might not be able to make it back up when the time came to leave.We left early, after Harp hit his HR, and she almost collapsed, again, just walking to the Metro. Once we got there, she was fine, but she swore never again. It all could have been avoided if the ticket office would have allowed me to come in on Saturday and pick up the tix and distribute them to the others, and then allow the holders to come in through the CF gate. Nobody's fault, but some concessions should be made by Nats management for someone in her condition.

  70. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    I understand, but why did she walk around the stadium? Just the sight of my cane and I'm always asked if I need a chair. Once in a while I accept, as I did Saturday when my knee was killing me…

  71. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Also, you can get a pedicab to the Metro–I did that when my Mother was in town, even though it's only a block. At that time they worked for tips (not sure if that's still the case). Don't know exactly where your seats were, but mine are near the elevator, so I don't take the escalator for fear of falling. If I'm feeling ok I sometimes use the ramps.

  72. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    "I understand, but why did she walk around the stadium?"We arrived by Metro and that was the only way to get to the Home Plate Gate."Just the sight of my cane and I'm always asked if I need a chair."She doesn't use a cane. It was the length of the walk that did her in. No one offered her any help at all, inside or out. In fact, she was told she could not sit in the chair she was occupying on the concourse by a Nats employee, so I gave her mine. I was a shocked by his behavior. He said she was sitting in his chair, and he then put some of his belongings on the chair, but never did sit on it. I didn't mind standing, but it was getting to me by the time we left. All the while "his" chair remained unoccupied.

  73. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Wow. That's an experience I've never had. Sorry to hear.The length of the walk is a killer. That's why I insist my mother use a chair in the airport, etc. Even if she insists she's "fine," by the end she's exhausted (and frankly, no fun to be with because she just wants to go home). All you have to do is motion to someone with a chair or one of the greeters, I've found them to be very helpful, that's their job. About the walk from Metro to the gate, the only solution is a pedicab, and you might not see one on the way in, although they are always there on the way out.

  74. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 20, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    "Also, you can get a pedicab to the Metro–I did that when my Mother was in town, even though it's only a block. At that time they worked for tips (not sure if that's still the case)."That's good to know. I did not notice them. We could have used one to get around the stadium. For her, it was brutal. I don't think she will ever go back, though, so its moot, in her case."Don't know exactly where your seats were, but mine are near the elevator, so I don't take the escalator for fear of falling."We got seats in 114, row MM. Good seats on the lower level. We were about even with where Zim plays 3rd base. The problem was that you had to navigate about a dozen or so steps to reach the seats. She was afraid to try, and we would not have let her try, in any case.

  75. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 20, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    "All you have to do is motion to someone with a chair or one of the greeters, I've found them to be very helpful, that's their job."How do you identify a greeter? I was not aware they had them. I really should have asked the Nats officials I called about the tix pick-up. If they have greeters, they probably have some sort of accommodation for someone of her age and physical condition.I really appreciate your info. Should have asked before the game.

  76. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 20, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Laddie, when I attend with mobility-impaired friend(s) who don't use chairs or such, I try to sit in the 300's behind home plate, to avoid the stairs–still a good view. I've gone on ahead on occasion to get the tickets and come back around to the center-field gate, while they wait, or arrive later. And yes, the pedicabs are there. Nats staff usually are wearing blue polo shirts, IIRC, but they all have to have badges, so look for those, and if you get a surly one, go ask a different one. Works for me.

  77. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    The greeters stand outside the stadium and just inside holding up little round signs that say something like "May I help you." With my mother, I try to avoid the concourses which are so crowded, and just get to the seats, get her settles in, and then I go by myself to get food and she stays. Never let her wait in line (unless for the restroom, which is unavoidable, but you can time it, go before the game ends…) I found that with my elderly mother (80s) it's like with a child, you really have to scope out what you're going to do and plan ahead. When we went as a family to Target Field, where I had never been, I was pretty assertive. We ordered tickets online, but I called ahead and said we would need ADA seats for two of the party. They said, take care of it at the park. So we went in and went immediately to the fan support office and they exchanged two of the seats for the ADA area where there were no steps. It meant we had to sit separately from the others, but it also meant she wasn't tired or stressed. She didn't need a wheelchair that day, but other times I've insisted that she use one. She wants to participate when we go on an excursion like a baseball game but she overestimates what she's capable of, and gets tired VERY abruptly in situations where we can't just all leave, so I've learned to make sure that doesn't happen, to the best of my ability. I learned that to my regret when I traveled with her to my brother, who at that time lived in Seattle, and she was so exhausted from the airports, etc., that she slept for three days solid when we got there.One of my principal objections to Camden Yards was that there were no greeters, and when I finally found the fan support office they asked me who would be pushing my wheelchair (I had come alone), and there were no pedicabs or vans or anything to get from the parking area–quite distant–to the park and the handicapped parking was full even thought I got there an hour early.When I was in a wheelchair myself (five months) I learned a lot about how to get around in a world that is not made for "mobility-impaired."

  78. NatsLady - Aug 20, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Bottom line, if your mother can't take stairs, you get the ADA seats. By law they have to give them to you, one for her and one for a "companion."

  79. Steady Eddie - Aug 20, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Nats Lady, thanks for all the accessibility tips. I'm taking my 90 year old mother to her first Nats game vs the Cards on the Sept 1 afternoon game, and am planning to spring for the $25 Yards parking across the street from the park, and to ask before then about access via the underground ramp to our seats (which are at the bottom of sec 135, with a bathroom just up the ramp). She can do a few steps and we'll plan to put her walker on the back wall of the ramp and hope the weather is good. Or get the ADA seats at the back of the section under cover if it's not.

  80. The Z-Mantis! - Aug 20, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Last Add: I second with emphasis NL's "be assertive" advice, knowing you will of course be polite about it. In the bathrooms, she can and should go straight to the accessible stalls, without waiting in line behind the crowd.





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