Nats To Put Playoff Tickets In Wonka Chocolate Bars on Friday

In my chocolatey delicious dreams they are. I’ve got to admit the idea is enticing: put golden playoff tickets in the wrappings of bars of chocolate candy bars and unleash the world upon them. Your local supermarket would look like a scene from World War Black Friday. Then the lucky winners would be escorted into the great Nationals Park Chocolate Factory by an odd little man (Gene Wilder version, not the Johnny Depp. Sorry, Johnny) who would show fans wonders upon wonders– including GM Mike Rizzo dressed as an Oompa Loompa.

If someone can Photoshop that, you’d be our hero.

Sadly, the Nats aren’t doing that whole Golden Ticket thing, but they are selling playoff tickets on Friday. NATS PRESS RELEASE:

The Washington Nationals announced today that tickets for potential Wild Card and National League Division Series games at Nationals Park will go on sale to the general public Friday, September 21 at 10:00 a.m. ET. A maximum of four tickets for each game may be purchased online at nationals.com/postseason or by calling 888.632.NATS(6287) on a first come, first served basis.

 

In addition, the Nationals Park Box Office will sell a limited number of Standing Room Only tickets the day of each postseason game, subject to availability. In the event the Nationals qualify, National League Championship Series and World Series single game tickets will go on sale in the coming weeks, based on availability.

 

Season Ticket Holders and Nationals Insiders received information regarding their opportunity to purchase single game postseason tickets earlier this month. Fans only have a few more days to place a deposit on 2013 full season ticket plans and receive 2012 postseason ticket purchase priority before tickets go on sale to the general public.

No doubt it will be Washington’s hottest ticket. Sorry to disappoint anyone who actually believed they were putting playoff tickets in bars of chocolate. If you want, you can take the water taxi to the Park next time.

The Anacostia River sometimes does look like a river of chocolate.

Nats Rub A Little Salt On The Wound

Statement from Nationals Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo in response to first baseman Adam Dunn agreeing to terms on a multi-year contract with the Chicago White Sox:

“The Washington Nationals wish Adam Dunn and his family the best of luck and good will in Chicago. Adam contributed much to the Nationals and to the Washington, D.C. community. He will be missed, but will remain an important figure in the early history of this franchise and will always be a part of the Nationals baseball family.”

Ahhh. Like pouring a tray of ice cubes over your leg consumed by volcanic lava–

Pray For The Nats, Get A T-Shirt

The big question facing any last place team is “If you build it and baseball fans still don’t come, how do you put butts in those seats?” The answer is simple and logical: you dip into another fan base.

The fan base in this case belongs to the All-Mighty.

The Nationals have a weekend planned for the holiest of rollers starting this Saturday with the Third Annual Gospel Music Fest. Whoa, I bet Nats Park will be totally off the hook.

The Washington Nationals will host the third annual Gospel Music Fest following their game against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, September 25. Praise 104.1 FM Radio Personality Cheryl Jackson will serve as the emcee and Gospel music performers Tanya Blount, Shawn McLemore and Earnest Pugh will headline the family-oriented concert.

All Nationals fans attending Saturday afternoon’s game are invited to stay for the post-game concert as set-up will begin immediately following the final out. The Nats Family Fun Area, which features the Jungle Gym, Build-A-Bear Workshop and Exxon Strike Zone, will remain open until the start of the concert. Ben’s Chili Bowl and the Grand Slam Grill (located behind Sections 109 and 110) will remain open throughout the event.

Fans interested in purchasing tickets may visit www.nationals.com/gospel. Post-game concert tickets will not be sold separately.

Ticket prices also include a free Gospel Music Fest T-Shirt. Free crap, God be praised! I have no idea who any of those artists are, but I doubt they will be singing about the glory of Jobu. No, wait, wait– the fun doesn’t stop there. If you really are ready to get down and funky, then get ready for the festival everyone has been waiting for: the Festival of Sukkot. SHA-BAMM!

For the second consecutive year, the Washington Nationals will host members of the Ohr Kodesh Congregation at Nationals Park when the team faces the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, September 26. In celebration of the Jewish Festival of Sukkot, also known as the “feast of tabernacles,” Ohr Kodesh volunteers will construct the first-ever Sukkah at the ballpark next to the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation kiosk.

The Sukkah represents the temporary shelters in which the children of Israel lived while wandering in the desert for forty years. In addition to commemorating this time in Jewish history, the holiday is also a harvest festival that lasts seven days. The Sukkah will be open to the public and remain in the ballpark until the evening of Tuesday, September 28.

Rabbi Lyle A. Fishman, who has served as the spiritual leader at Ohr Kodesh for more than 25 years, will also throw out the Ceremonial First Pitch at Sunday’s game.

Nationals fans– are you ready to get extreme? I know I am. I don’t know what is up with all these religious happenings at the Park (I lie, I do know. They need to get people in the Park somehow), but anytime you can get the Tetragrammaton in the house, it can’t but help the Nats chances.

Nats Give Nothing, Take Everything!

It has been awhile since we spread some Nats Community PR. There is a time and place for everything. That time is now and that place is here. The Nats want not only your money, but your life force as well. Blood I mean. PRESS RELEASE:

Washington Nationals fans will have one more opportunity to donate blood when the team hosts its second blood drive of the season in partnership with Inova Blood Donor Services on Saturday, August 28 at the Nationals Park Conference Center [8am-2pm]. In exchange for helping save a life, blood donors will receive two tickets to a future Nationals game, a limited edition Build-A-Bear Workshop bloodhound and the opportunity to meet a Nationals player.

Inova Blood Donor Services supplies lifesaving blood and blood products to 15 different hospitals in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Blood donations make a difference in the lives of cancer patients, trauma patients, newborns suffering from complications, as well as those undergoing surgery or receiving an organ transplant. With each donation made, up to three lives may be saved.

Appointments to donate blood are required. Interested donors should call 1-866-BLOODSAVES (256-6372) or visit www.inova.org/donateblood, click ‘schedule an appointment’ and enter sponsor code 7665.

I can tell you what: I’d be seriously disappointed if I allow someone at Nats Park to stick a harpoon in my arm and they send Wil Nieves to visit and feed me cookies. I might actually go into cardiac arrest. Sounds like a good cause. It is a good cause. And it is Nationals. If it was anything else you wouldn’t be reading it here. Except if it is Scarlett Johansson playing volleyball.

Yeah, you’d hear about that here too.

The Nats Shall Bring Joy One Way Or Another

The Nationals might be striking out at the plate these days, but they continue to mash when it comes to community service. Not a whole lot is mentioned of the positive community events the Nats do in the press, so– here is this:

Washington Nationals Players Matt Capps and Ryan Zimmerman will visit patients at Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children before Tuesday’s game vs. the Royals on June 22. The athletes will brighten up the afternoon for the children at the hospital by signing autographs, posing for pictures and playing games. This is the duo’s second trip to an area children’s hospital this season. They will be at the hospital from 11am to noon.

I was born in Fairfax Hospital. It saddens me that Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Capps never came to visit me. Of course, neither were born at the time, which makes me feel really old, but that is beside the point. Maybe if they did show they would have given me the strength and confidence in myself to become something more than just a blogger.

Maybe I could have been a cowboy or piano tuner. Who knows?

Are You Nats-perienced?

I’m a little late getting this out, but better late than never I guess. The Nationals are looking for National Anthem singers and Organ players for the 2010 season. PR release:

The Washington Nationals will host their Third Annual National Anthem auditions and the inaugural organ auditions at Nationals Park on Saturday, March 13 [10am-1pm]. The organ made its debut at Nationals Park midway through the 2009 season and will return as a ballpark staple in 2010.

Talented singers interested in performing the anthem should email a headshot and performance resume to anthem@nationals.com. The first 75 performers to register will have the opportunity to prove why they should sing The Star-Spangled Banner before a 2010 Nationals home game. All applicants will be asked to perform the anthem behind home plate facing the seating bowl as they would during the season. Renditions must be kept under 90 seconds.

Musicians with the ability to play traditional sports-style organ music that are interested in performing during Nationals home games must submit a recording of their keyboard or organ playing via MP3 to production@nationals.com. Applicants may also mail a CD to Nationals Park to the attention of the Production Department. Ten finalists will be invited to participate in live auditions on the Nationals Kurzweil 2600 keyboard. Finalists will be asked to play “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”, traditional organ music and sports prompts, and an interpretation of a modern song. All music will be played through the ballpark’s sound system.

There is one part of me that wants to go out for something like this, but the other part of me says stay home and realize your dreams are over so stay in your basement and post Jimi Hendrix pictures on your blog.

Hooray, Press Releases!

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It’s boring around the NQ today so when I got two press releases in my mailbox I nearly wet myself. No, scratch that. I DID wet myself. Both releases have absolutely nothing to do with the product on the field, but I am sure they will be an interest to somebody.

From the team:

NATIONALS NAME ANDREW FEFFER CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

The Washington Nationals today announced that Andrew C. Feffer has been named Chief Operating Officer and will be responsible for all revenue generating and non-baseball operations, according to Nationals President Stan Kasten.

Feffer most recently served as COO for NFL PLAYERS, Inc., the for-profit subsidiary of the NFL Players Association. During his three-year tenure with NFL PLAYERS, Feffer developed the players’ marketing, sponsorship, licensing, television, and online interactive entity.

“We continue to build the Nationals one practical step at a time,” Kasten said. “I believe Andy brings outside ideas that will enhance the Nationals profile locally and nationally.”

I’m not sure what exactly he is going to be doing because I am a fat, lazy blogger too into myself to do research, but congratulations all the same. Say no to “Dogs-At-The-Park Day” and say yes to “Drag Queen Demolition Derby Night.”

From MASN:

Ben Goessling Joins MASN as Nationals Reporter

(Washington D.C.) — MASN, the television home of the Washington Nationals, has announced that well-known Washington sports journalist and personality Ben Goessling has joined the network as a full-time reporter, blogger and on-air contributor. Goessling will cover the Nationals for MASNsports.com, the premier online destination for Nationals fans, beginning on January 11th.

A trusted and reliable source for the most up-to-date Nationals news, Goessling will continue writing about the team on a daily basis, hosting live chats and video blogs and making frequent appearances during MASN’s pre and post game show, Nats Xtra. He will also interact with fans using Twitter, the popular social networking platform. He joins Phil Wood and Byron Kerr who continue to cover the Nationals for MASNsports.com.

Goessling enters his third year covering the Nationals after two seasons on the beat at the Washington Times, where he was a frequent contributor to Nats Xtra during the “Hot Corner” segment. In addition to covering the Nationals and two World Series, he covered the Washington Capitals, Redskins and Wizards, as well as local college basketball, the AT&T National tournament and the 2009 Frozen Four. He began his career at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, where he covered everything from sports to local news and business, and has worked for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, where he was honored by the Minnesota Associated Press Sports Association for a 2004 investigation into allegations of coaching impropriety at the University of Minnesota.

During his years at the Washington Times, Goessling embraced the changing face of sports media by contributing to “Chatter,” the Times’ popular Nationals blog, hosting online chats with fans and developing a robust Twitter account, @washtimesbb.

“Ben is one of the most trusted, informative, and active members of the media covering the Nationals,” said MASN spokesman Todd Webster. “We are excited that Ben is bringing his insights, perspective and work ethic to MASNsports.com, to provide Nationals fans with 24/7 access to the team.”

Fans can continue to follow Ben Goessling on Twitter at @masnNATS.

I confess I did a double take when I read this release. I thought they were talking about that dorky Asian guy who was cheating on that fake peacock woman with eight spawn.

Unfortunately, they didn’t mean that guy so I had to delete my three page post ranting about what an absolute joke it was.

Some Nats Press

Curly W On Wall

I really don’t want to talk about the team this morning. I am too pissed. The offense no-showed once again last night in the 4-1 loss to the bungling San Diego Padres.

The offense came unprepared to play, so I came to NQ Headquarters unprepared to write about them. So I won’t. Because if you can’t do something perfectly, you don’t do it all.

At least that is what I learned in High School. I think that is what they taught us…

Anyways, I know there are still hard working people in the organization that aren’t necessarily players or coaches that come to work prepared everyday, like the PR and communications department, so this post is for them and the information they have sent our way.

Pups-In-The-Park

The Washington Nationals will host the first-ever Pups in the Park on Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6 when the team faces the Florida Marlins. Designed to allow fans to enjoy a baseball game with their dogs, the Left Field Mezzanine has been designated as the pet area for those two games. All guests with dogs will enter the ballpark through the Left Field Gate, located on South Capitol Street, where they must turn in their signed waiver form that lists their dogs’ up-to-date vaccinations. The Nationals will have a relief station with water and pet sitters on the landing outside Section 201. Pets will not be allowed at concession stands and may be left with the provided pet sitters.

The team will also host the second annual Adopt-A-Pet event prior to Saturday’s game. Volunteers from the Humane Society will be located in the Nats Family Fun Area, near the Strike Zone with adoptable dogs in a cordoned off area. Fans interested in adopting an animal may interact with the dogs on-site and fill out applications before they leave.

Pet tickets for Pups At the Park are sold out, but discounted human tickets remain for both days in support of the Adopt-A-Pet program. Left Field Mezzanine tickets, normally $30, can be purchased for $20 at www.nationals.com/pups. A portion of the proceeds from all tickets sold for the event will be donated to the Washington Humane Society.

Diabetes Awareness Month At Nats Park

The Washington Nationals will continue their monthly health initiatives campaign with Diabetes Awareness Month. The team has partnered with the American Diabetes Association for the month of September to raise awareness and funds for treatment and prevention of the number one cause of death in the United States.

The Nationals aim to increase awareness for their monthly health initiatives through tabling opportunities at the ballpark, Public Service Announcements (PSAs), player appearances and pregame recognition ceremonies. The American Diabetes Association will have a presence at the Nationals Community Desk, located on the Main Concourse in Left Field, at all September home games (September 4-10 and 22-30). The organization will distribute materials and raise funds through the sale of Mystery Baseball Grab Bags (until all provided baseballs are sold). A PSA from the organization will run on the Nationals Park scoreboard prior to each game.  Additionally, Nationals Pitcher Ron Villone recorded a PSA that will run on WFED-1500AM, the Nationals radio partner, during each Nationals game broadcast in September, both home and away.

Nationals 2009 Roberto Clemente Award Nominee

John Lannan today was named the Washington Nationals nominee for the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. He is one of 30 Major League Club nominees for the national 2009 Roberto Clemente Award, which is given annually to the Major League Baseball player who combines exceptional performance on the baseball field with devoted work in the community.

Tomorrow will mark the eighth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor the legacy of Roberto Clemente. Fans are encouraged to participate in the selection of the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. From September 2 through October 4, 2009, fans can log on to www.chevy.com/clemente and vote for one of the 30 Club nominees.

The Nationals will host Roberto Clemente Night, on Friday, September 4 when they face the Florida Marlins at 7:05pm. Lannan will be recognized in an on-field ceremony prior to the evening’s game. A left-handed pitcher, Lannan is in his second full season with the Nationals with a record of 8-9 and 3.95 ERA in 2009.

As soon as the Nationals offense is ready to take their job seriously, I want them to call me to let me know so I can start writing about them again.

The Nats Might Be Stalking You

Nationals Park 08

From the Club. No, not the Freemasons. The Nationals, you silly goose:

Ballclub Will Reward Fans Who ‘Get Their Red On’ Throughout the Month at Nationals Park

The Washington Nationals will host Fan Appreciation Month at Nationals Park in September during their final 16 home games of the season (September 4 through 10 and 22 through 30). The team will thank fans, especially Season Ticket Holders, for their unwavering support and commitment to being proud citizens of NatsTown as the 2009 season comes to a close.

Nationals fans who ‘Get Their Red On’ at the ballpark in September will be rewarded with Random Acts of Red, receiving items including Nationals merchandise, tickets to upcoming home games, promotional items and the exclusive opportunity to watch batting practice from the field. Scheduled giveaway days include the final three T-shirt Tuesdays (September 8, 22 and 29, first 10,000 fans each day) and the ever-popular Team Photo on Monday, September 28 (first 20,000 fans).  Fans may be surprised when they arrive at the ballpark as Nationals Players will greet guests at the gates on selected home games.

“The Nationals would like to thank our fans for their incredible support throughout this season as we continue to build towards a championship-caliber club,” said Nationals President Stan Kasten. “We look forward to a successful off-season and a great 2010 at Nationals Park.”

The newly-unveiled NatMobile will roam the streets of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, on the lookout for citizens of NatsTown. Fans showing their allegiance to the ballclub may receive promotional items, Nationals merchandise and tickets to future Nationals games.

Sounds great, except for all the weird stalking business. The Natsmobile driving around D.C. “looking for Nats fans.” Sounds creepy.

I can imagine myself having a heart attack if I am walking down the street in my knee high socks, licking an ice cream cone and wearing my Nats hat and suddenly this monstrous van pulls up and out jumps Screech, the Presidents, Clint, and Elijah Dukes trying to shower me with gifts.

There is a reason I don’t talk to strangers. A lot of that reason has to do with this guy from Jeepers Creepers.