From the Desk of Mark Lerner: Road Tripping

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Hello Nationals fans. I am blogging today from north of the border, where your Nationals are about to wrap up the most successful road trip since arriving in D.C.

The trip began with a three-game sweep of the Red Sox. When Tyler Clippard posted his third save in as many games on Sunday, Washington became the first NL club to sweep a series at venerable Fenway Park since the Braves did so way back in 2002.

While the memories of the Beantown sweep will remain for a long time, my immediate thoughts reside with Jesus Flores, who has taken undue punishment behind the plate. Whether it be foul tips or the inevitable pitch cross-up, Flo’s arms, legs and hands sport bruises representing every color of the rainbow. Yet, he keeps on blocking balls and putting himself in harm’s way. Luckily, there are no mental dings for Flores, however, as his game-calling skills have helped unite a hot pitching staff.

Fenway was not immune to the ever-increasing number of Curly “W” hats, shirts and logos that we have seen on the road. I can also tell you that the players have noticed. I have never seen more Nationals gear for a road series. Yet another bit of evidence that our fans are realizing that this is shaping up as a special summer.

And what about our favorite 19 year-old, Bryce Harper? His play is nothing short of stellar. And, from my seat, it is contagious for teammates and fans alike. While his talents are obvious to all, his energy and undying passion for the game is what sets him apart. Oh, … and his prodigious power! That homer of his to center field on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre will not soon be forgotten.

I am looking forward to this weekend’s upcoming Yankees series at Nationals Park. The Bronx Bombers are playing very well the last three weeks and find themselves currently atop the AL East standings (they’ve also been very helpful in winning five straight from the Mets and Braves). It appears we will miss C.C. Sabathia’s turn in their rotation, but Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte and Ivan Nova will undoubtedly provide a stiff weekend test.

I have to think tickets for this weekend are the hottest in D.C. this year.

I also urge all fans to plan your departures and arrivals to Nationals Park 45 minutes earlier than normal if you want to see all the action from first to last pitch. Sellout crowds, rush hour traffic (Friday), road construction and previously-scheduled Metro track maintenance will all be part of weekend equation.

While it is easy to focus on the big Yankees weekend, let’s remember that Tampa Bay is set to invade Nationals Park next week. The Rays’ ability to compete and often beat the Yanks and Red Sox in that division is equal parts commendable and inspirational.

Lastly, I am hopeful that our increased fan presence on the road can extend to our series at Camden Yards on the weekend of June 22-24. Let’s have some fun with this pennant race thing!

I hope to see you all at Nationals Park this next week … Don’t forget to Vote Nats!

9 Comments

Hey Mark just wanted to say from a loyal Nats fan what a great job you, your family and the entire organization has done to make watching this team so much fun this year! DC has longed for a consistant winner and hopefully a champion for a very long time. Keep up all the treat work!

Mark,

You’ve done an outstanding job with the team and it’s been a wonderful experience watching them evolve into the franchise they’ve become over the last few years. The stadium is fantastic and each time I visit is better than the previous. The ball park has completely transformed the area around it and is the perfect home for this explosive young team. My 6-year-old son has grown to love baseball as a result of the wonderful experiences he’s had at the ball park and looks forward to every game. The team is so exciting to watch and I’m sure that the depth and talent will entertain fans for years to come.

Thanks again to you and your staff for bringing baseball back to our Nation’s Capital and for adding the Navy Yard to the growing list of fun and exciting attractions in our great city.

Warmest Regards,

Ami Schreiber

Been wathching the Nats on MASN almost every game for the last 3-4 years….It’s great to watch them WIN!!! I feel like they are my hometown kids.

Mr Lerner,

I too would like to thank you for a wonderful and inspiring team! The way an organization works together in harmony is certainly a reflection of the people at the top.

Thank you for Rizzo, Davey Johnson, resigning Zimmerman, Strausburg, Harper, Gio, Jackson, Werth, Lombo, (I just realized I can’t fit em all in here!) thank you for all of the guys!!!!

Sir, thank you most of all, for you! Best Owner in Baseball! Built from the ground up! That’ll do Mr Lerner… That’ll do.

Natitude is the team’s attitude for some very good baseball. It is fantastic. The guys in the booth are superb.

Congratulations, Mark, on the greatest road trip in Nats history to date. I am certain that this road trip will long be remembered as a watershed moment in the development of the Nats as a playoff contender. Mike Rizzo has to be the best GM in MLB, with the best staff. Davey Johnson should be seriously considered for Manager of the Year, and Bryce Harper should be on track for Rookie of the Year honors. Hope Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez get Cy Young nods.

Now I hope the club continues it’s recent mastery of the New York Yankees (they always seem to take 2 of 3 games from them) and then get the Rays.

Go Nats!

Great job managing a great team. My 2 kids have loved the organization and players. Wish you many more years of continued success,
I however have to tell you about your Box Office:
My twin boys on their birthday had one wish- see a Nationals game. It got rained out despite the whole DC area knowing it would happen 2 days prior. The message kept saying – the game is on time till 6.51 PM and then cancelled.
We have been given the run around since then with no clarity- no one seems to know the right answers.
Samples:
The game will be rescheduled- wait for the message on the website???? Has not happened yet!!!!
Exchange tickets to any game?? tried doing that and they said you have to come to the box office- I have to come all the way there if I can get any tickets in exchange- not for sure.
Cannot go to any game- some are premium. How do I find out which game is premium? Response- not sure were in the web site it says so??
I do not even know if my tickets were on a premium game day??
And another guy has an attitude like how dare you not know all this- its expected of you to know this!!!!!
Tickets.com says we are not told what to do with your tickets???
Another guy at the stadium says to a whole bunch of people – I am sorry for the rain and laughs at the people asking him questions!!!- Like we are so dumb?

What am I supposed to do with the tickets?
All I wanted was my kids enjoy the ball game , see Harper and Strasburg play and have a good time. They would be Nationals fans forever .But what kind of service do they get- lousy , bad and pathetic. I have had no other issues in any other events like this.

When any organization does well and is hot and in demand that is when its front desk or box office needs to raise to the occasion- not act like kids who are riding a high horse. Let’s all root for you and hope the staff reflects your great values

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