Tickets are a tad hard to come by to see the defending World Champs at Citizens Bank Park, so who could blame Nationals president Stan Kasten for touting next week’s Philadelphia/Washington series as a great opportunity for visiting Phans? DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg for one, writing “if you’re representing D.C. sports you can’t–CANNOT–open your arms wide in a fuzzy embrace of visiting Philly fans. You might as well just take the D.C. off your caps at that point.”
Kasten was on the Jody Mac and Harry Mayes Show today, the mid-day sports radio program of ESPN 950 in Philadelphia, and he turned the segment into an advertisement for next week’s home series with the Phillies. Good tickets, apparently, are still available. The first question was about the Nats’ roster, and after Kasten wound his way through that question, he ended with this. Unprompted.
“It will be fun, and I think Philly’s our best, closest National League rival. We always have great games with them here, because there’s so many Philly kids in college here. So we always have great, enthusiastic crowds, and we hope you all come back again. We have an opening day here Monday, we’d love for all our Philly fans to come down, because I know it’s gonna be so hard to get tickets in Philadelphia this year. It’ll be much easier if you drive down the road and come see us in Washington.”
No, Stan, no. Stop now. Hang up the phone. Tell them you just realized you have a lunch appointment. Tell them you need to go watch a MASN re-broadcast. Don’t make it any worse.
“You can come here early, we open two and three hours early, have a good time,” he said later, when asked specifically about visiting Nats Park. “The neighborhood, which had so many plans for an exciting nightlife waterfront area, frankly has been pushed back a year or two because of the economy, so there’s not a lot in the neighborhood. But let’s face it, any trip in Washington, which is among the world’s most visited cities, among the world’s best tourist cities, there’s plenty else to do if you want to make a day of it or a night of it. But I promise you, just coming to a ballgame will be more than worth the trip.”
“Hey, you’ve got an opening day hat!” Kasten said, when asked about any giveaways on Monday. “It’s a Nats hat, which is ok, but we do feature for sale many Philly hats in our store, so come on by.”
Good gracious me on the tombstone of Walter Johnson, really? You’re going to say that on Philadelphia airwaves? “We do feature for sale many Philly hats in our store?” That’s not being tone-deaf, that’s deliberately going out of your way to play everything in E-flat when you’re living in a D-major city. I’m trying to think of a more blasphemous thing a D.C. sports executive could say. Yup, still trying.