Saturday, May 07, 2005

Respect, West Coast style

No discouraging words here, dog

Major League Baseball came to California about fifty years ago, and now Washington ball is making its way back for the first time in over thirty. The press in the Bay Area and Northern California seems fascinated.

Chris already mentioned a few of the articles, including Ray Ratto's love letter to Frank Robinson in the San Francisco Chronicle.

But wait, there's more! And they're exceedingly positive! No wisecracks here! (Well, at least not about our new Nats . . . )

---> Leading off,
David Pollack of the San Jose Mercury News gives his readers a pretty thorough up-to-date on the Expos-turned-Nats, including a rather humorous quote from former Montreal-current Giants manager Felipe Alou:

"We were going to Buffalo; we were going to New Orleans; we were going to West Virginia; we were going to stay in Montreal."

West Virginia??!!

---> Next up is
Nick Peters of the Sacramento Bee, who provides a similarly thorough look, including a review of the Nats' marketing bonanza (he knows the "DC" caps are big, big sellers), some quotes from an old RFK Stadium usher, and a breezy take on the attendance issue:

A capacity crowd of 45,596 attended the historic opener April 14, and no fewer than 23,332 have watched a Nationals home game. After 13 dates in their temporary digs, the average crowd count is 30,672.

Peters certainly isn't pooh-poohing 23K, that's for sure.

---> And then we have
Dave Albee of the Marin Independent-Journal, whose angle of constrasting the "new Nats" with the "tired old Expos" would probably render Dayn Perry a Section Eight:

"The Expos were so bad it was extra incentive for us to protect our borders. They were as bad for baseball as Corey Clark is for Paula Abdul. It wasn't entirely the Expos' fault the way they played on the field because they played in a stadium specifically built for the Olympics that Expos fans avoided like acid rain. It was a bad fit. Baseball was as bleak in Canada as Canada now is without the NHL."

By the way, if you ever want to be "the Western regional crosschecker scout for the Nationals," look up Charles Scott of Novato, Ca., who is quoted in the article. And who said the Nats are on a shoestring budget? They obviously can afford a WRCS!

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