How To Insult and Alienate Your Fan Base

I’m not angry at the Washington Nationals. How could I be?

Yes, they lost their Home Opener on Opening Day to the Philadelphia Phillies just by 10 runs, 11-1. Yes, there were the ridiculous, circus-like moments that have defined the tragically comedic existence of the Nationals since they arrived in Washington back in 2005. Yes, they played with the same lackluster play and enthusiasm that led to plenty of “Oh My God, That Was Awesome, HA,HA” moments for the opposing team’s fans. Oh yeah, it was all there. Everything that could go wrong, pretty much did.The year 2009 is still with us. “How is that new attitudey-thingy working out for you, Nats?”

But I’m not mad at them. I just can’t be. It would be like getting mad at a baby for crapping its diaper: it’s a baby. That is what they do. And the Washington Nationals are a bad baseball team. They only did what they do best. It shouldn’t come as any surprise. The proof was in the “soon-to-be-developed” cow pastures of Viera, FL.

But I am mad. Mad at the people that hide behind the bad team. Front Office, Ownership, Jim Riggleman, The Puppet Masters, whatever you want to call them, I don’t care. What took place at Nationals Park this afternoon has to be absolutely insulting and infuriating to what is left of the Washington Nationals fan base. I have never seen a team go to such lengths to completely alienate its own fan base.

In case you don’t know what I am talking about, let’s go to the list of things that happened on Opening Day in Washington D.C.: (No particular order)

  1. The amount of Phillies fans at Opening Day AT NATIONALS PARK IN WASHINGTON D.C. is ridiculous. The only thing that is more ridiculous is the fact these animals were invited with open arms into Nationals Park by Nationals President Stan Kasten. Hope you liked all the opposing team chants, Stan. Must have felt good to see all that Philly merchandise flying out of the WASHINGTON NATIONAL TEAM STORE.
  2. Chase Utley was in the building. Nothing is more insulting than having Chase Utley in any building anywhere.
  3. Having President Obama to come out to throw the first pitch is great. What is not great is having President Obama to come out to throw the first pitch while slipping a White Sox cap on his head over his Nationals jacket as he throws out the first pitch at Nationals Park during a Nationals game. How is the fan base feeling even before the game starts? It is almost enough to make me not vote for him.
  4. Allowing Bud Selig to come in and sell his poison and talk about the Nats like he cares is a serious no-no.
  5. It’s Opening Day at Nationals Park. This should have been when the red flag first went up.
  6. What were they thinking with some of the player moves? Removing Ian Desmond after he sucks for Cristian Guzman seems like a desperation move or a blatant “Maybe-We-Should-Rethink-This” panic move… Allowing Jason Bergmann to pitch in the weeds? One word: BEACHBALL. We knew it was coming, but we still don’t know why it had to come…  Pulling Adam Dunn and Nyjer Morgan for Tavarez and Morse is a slap in the face. We didn’t listen in or go to see Taveras and Morse. We want Adam “The Donkey” Dunn and Tony Plush. Are we still in Spring Training?!

I just don’t feel respected as a Nats fan. I just don’t. It just didn’t feel like anything was really geared towards me as a Nats fan. Maybe it was the radio team. They certainly made a puddle in their seats when the Phillies hit that Grand Slam. I think they almost forgot when Nyjer Morgan crossed home plate for the only run of the whole stinking game.

I have a hard time believing I am the only one who feels this way. Would this kind of stuff ever happen in Boston or New York? Hell, this sort of thing doesn’t even happen in Pittsburgh. Where was the stuff to get me excited as a NATS FAN? Where was the glitz, glam, bobbles and trinkets that make me excited to be a NATS FAN? What did the team do that made me proud to be a NATS FAN? Where was any sort of pride in being a NATS FAN?

Opening Day just felt like one giant Flea Market. Nothing but snake oil and whisks for sale. I get that same exact feeling over the newly revamped Nationals.com. What is with that image bar? Why are their spikes poking out of Capitol building? What is that John Deere ad doing there? Buy the latest in 2010 Nationals fashion, why?

Why should I? I really don’t feel like it when a team opens up the “How To Insult And Alienate Your Fan Base” playbook. Ugh, WORST Opening Day ever and it doesn’t even have to do with the score. We expected that type of performance from the players.

We expected more from everyone else in the Nationals organization.

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