Fan Report: Nats Security Not Impressed With 2008 World Series Pennant

Fan Report: Nats Security Not Impressed With 2008 World Series Pennant


Phillies fan Justin writes in with his tale from Saturday's game in which the Nationals security are not cool with his 2008 World Series banner.


I have a bone to pick and a story to get off my chest after an incident at the Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Earlier in the week, I had agreed to meet up with my Raaauuul-worshipping friend Bryan (featured in this post on TheFightins) and go to the game with him and a buddy of his who were coming down from Reading.  They had already bought tickets in Row B of Section 104 and my plan was go to the window on gameday and get something “close”.  Now
I live in Fairfax, a western ‘burb of DC, and get to see daily how Nats
fans disguise them themselves as empty blue seats, so I fancied this to
be an easy proposition.  So I threw on my maroon throwback
Phillies hat and Mike Schmidt t-shirt, grabbed my souvenir 2008 World
Series pennant given away at the Phils’ home opener, hopped on the
Metro at 10:45, and was down at Nats park about hour later.  But
when I went to purchase my ticket, even I was surprised that they
offered me a seat in Row A of said section – the front row!  See me in the attached picture.

 

I
meet Bryan and his friend near the Red Loft bar atop center field; we
exchange pleasantries and consume alcohol before heading to our seats
to watch Brett Myers and Chris Coste warm up and throw longtoss.  Bryan’s friend also brought his pennant, and wears it as a cape – sweet.  I stand at my seat and decide to hold my pennant at the railing while observing our heroes practice.  I was aware of the Nats Park policy on signs and banners, which reads as such:

 

                Signs & Banners

Guests
are permitted to bring and display banners and signs at Nationals Park
as long as they are baseball-related and are only displayed during
inning breaks. Such banners and signs may not interfere with the game
or other guest's enjoyment of the game. These banners and signs are not
allowed to cover any ballpark signage or contain any language deemed
inappropriate by the Nationals Management. Banners and signs are not
allowed to be paraded through any part of the ballpark at any time.
Poles and sticks are also prohibited. The Washington Nationals reserve
the right to remove banners and signs from the ballpark for any reason
they deem appropriate.

 

I
figured holding the pennant would not be a problem (note that I did not
affix it to the rail, and it did not even reach down to the flower
bed), as this was well before the game, and I planned on putting it
away once the game started, except for waving it around a little after
the Phils would score.  About 5 minutes after I first
unfurled it, an gentleman on the field sporting a stylish red blazer
(presumably an event manager) walked over and politely reminded me to
put the pennant away at gametime.  I told him I would happily oblige and figured that was that.

 

Then,
about 5 minutes after that, 3 or 4 stadium security officials dressed
in a garish yellow shirts walked down from the left field concourse,
surrounded all five fans (all Phillies fans, of course) in our section
at the time, and started barking the pennant must immediately go,
saying their “command post” had been “specifically observing” me as if
they were at NORAD tracking commies and ICBMs.  The other fans begin yapping back at the guards.  After
a brief confrontation with me citing the policy and explaining my
conversation with the gentleman on the field, they raised their voices
and exclaimed that this was my “last warning”.  I was threatened with ejection from the ballpark a full 20 minutes before the game.  Of course, had they done that, the Nats would’ve lost about 10% of attendance for that game.  I
reluctantly folded up the pennant and put it away before deciding to
use it as a cover for my legs so they wouldn’t get burnt to a crisp by
the sun since I did not have sunblock lotion.

 

Now
once the game started, these assnats [sic] came back and had the
audacity to check the tickets for what was now all 8 fans (all Phillies
supporters, of course) in Section 104, making sure we were in our exact
seats, further drawing our ire and more snide comments about the high
demand for Nats tickets.

 

When Raul hit his first homer in the top of the 1st, I released all my pent-up frustration and anger by vigorously waving the pennant in the direction of the guards.  They just stood there knowing there wasn’t a damn thing they could’ve down about the situation.

 

So eff you Nats.  F
you.  But thank you, Ben's Chili Bowl, for the delicious half-smoke
even though you put of the wrapper on the outside of the cardboard tray.

 
Love,
Justin in Fairfax

Best of MLB: Happ gets 14th win, Blue Jays take over 1st place

Best of MLB: Happ gets 14th win, Blue Jays take over 1st place

TORONTO -- With one big inning and another strong start from J.A. Happ, the Blue Jays moved into the AL East lead.

Happ won his eighth straight decision, Devon Travis homered and Toronto used a seven-run fifth to beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-1 Saturday, taking sole possession of first place for the first time since early April.

"There's still a lot of baseball left, but I feel we're starting to play good ball," Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin said.

Toronto, which won for the 16th time in 22 games, had not been alone atop its division since a 2-0 start. The Blue Jays have scored seven or more runs in an inning three times this season.

Kevin Pillar had two hits and drove in four runs to match his career high. Major league RBIs leader Edwin Encarnacion drove in his 89th run (see full recap).

Giants find just enough offense for rare win since break
SAN FRANCISCO -- Hunter Pence is healthy at last. Joe Panik has been back a few days from a concussion and is driving in runs again. The San Francisco Giants sure are starting to look like themselves again.

Oh, with that new face in the infield of Eduardo Nunez.

Panik hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the seventh inning, Nunez had a two-run double in his first start with San Francisco and the Giants snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Washington Nationals 5-3 on Saturday.

Pence was activated from the disabled list after missing 48 games with a strained right hamstring that required surgery.

"It's huge, just his presence in the lineup," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's one of our guys. In addition to the talent, he brings energy and all those intangibles. He charged up the troops being out there (see full recap)."

De La Rosa, Rockies win 5th straight, Mets lose 4th in row
NEW YORK -- Jorge De La Rosa earned his 100th career victory and the Colorado Rockies eventually caught up with Bartolo Colon, beating the New York Mets 7-2 on a rainy Saturday night for their fifth straight win.

The Rockies improved to 12-4 since the All-Star break and won despite losing NL home run leader Trevor Story to a jammed left thumb. He seemed to get hurt on a scrambling slide in the fourth, exited early and X-rays on the rookie shortstop were negative.

On the day the Mets retired Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza's No. 31, the Mets lost their fourth in row. The 43-year-old Colon (9-6) faltered in his first start on three days' rest since 2005, and slugger Yoenis Cespedes left in midgame because of a nagging quad injury (see full recap).

Rea injured in Miami debut, Marlins win 11-0
MIAMI -- The Miami Marlins' big win might have come with a price.

Newly acquired Colin Rea left early with an elbow injury in his Miami debut in the Marlins' 11-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night.

"We obviously needed the win, but it's not at that cost," Marlins reliever David Phelps said. "Hopefully, it's nothing, but you never like to see a starter come out of the game when you're strapped for starters to begin with."

Rea, acquired in a trade with San Diego, pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out four.

"I kind of felt something in my elbow and it gradually got worse throughout the game," Rea said. "I don't know if I could have thrown another pitch, but we'll see. We don't know anything yet."

Rea initially felt a pain in his arm during warm-ups before the game, but tried to pitch through it (see full recap).

Instant Replay: Phillies 9, Braves 5

Instant Replay: Phillies 9, Braves 5

BOX SCORE

ATLANTA – If this was Jeremy Hellickson’s swan song with the Phillies he went out a winner.
 
Hellickson pitched into the sixth inning and gave up just three runs in the Phils’ 9-5 win over the sloppy Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
 
Hellickson is 8-7 with a 3.70 ERA in 22 starts with the Phillies. He could be on the move to a contender before Monday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline. A number of clubs in need of starting pitching scouted Hellickson’s start. 
 
Braves pitching walked eight batters.

Starting pitching report 
Hellickson had the type of start he often does. He went 5 2/3 innings and gave up three runs, exiting with a 5-3 lead. He allowed nine hits, walked one and struck out two.

Hellickson finished the month of July with a 2.34 ERA in six starts and gave up just four runs in his last three starts.
 
Will he make another start for the Phillies? We’ll know in a couple of days.

Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran gave up three runs over five innings.
 
Bullpen report
Hellickson departed with a run in and two men on base with two outs in the sixth. Edubray Ramos came in and registered a strikeout to end the inning. He stayed on for the seventh and struck out two more.
 
Jeanmar Gomez closed out a four-run lead. His appearance in a non-save situation may have been a showcase for teams interested in trading for him. The Giants and Indians have been watching Gomez.
 
The Phillies scored twice off lefty Eric O’Flaherty to take a 5-2 lead in the sixth.
 
At the plate
Hellickson helped his cause with a two-run double in the fifth. It was the first double of his career.
 
The Phillies built a 5-2 lead when Freddy Galvis singled home two runs in the sixth.
 
Ryan Howard doubled in the second and scored on a hit by Cameron Rupp for the Phillies’ first run. Rupp had three hits and scored two runs.
 
The Phillies sent nine men to the plate and scored four runs in the eighth without getting a hit. They benefited from four walks in the inning.
 
Nick Markakis, Adonis Garcia and Anthony Recker (single and double) all had RBI hits for the Braves.
 
Trade update
The Phillies’ asking price for Vince Velasquez is … (see story)
 
Up next
Jerad Eickhoff (6-12, 3.83) pitches Sunday afternoon for the Phillies. The Braves had not named a starter as Saturday night’s game was ending.

Phillies want 2 bats for Velasquez, deal unlikely at this point; Tigers check on Hellickson

Phillies want 2 bats for Velasquez, deal unlikely at this point; Tigers check on Hellickson

ATLANTA – Two days before the non-waiver trade deadline, the Phillies have several pitchers who could be on the move.

The market for Jeremy Hellickson, Saturday night’s starter against the Braves, remains alive. The Phillies have received several offers, but nothing yet to their liking. A strong start against Atlanta on Saturday would certainly help the right-hander's value.

The Phillies had talks with Miami about Hellickson, but the Marlins filled their need for starting pitching by acquiring Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea from San Diego earlier in the week.

Pittsburgh, Texas, Toronto, Baltimore, the Dodgers and others remain in the market for starting pitching. The Detroit Tigers could be a team to watch on Hellickson. They had a scout come in to watch Hellickson pitch in Atlanta on Saturday night.

The headline-grabbing name on the Phillies’ trade front remains Vince Velasquez. Major league sources continue to tell CSNPhilly.com that the Phillies have had meaningful trade discussions with the Texas Rangers involving the power-armed right-hander.

Sources say a deal is unlikely at this time because the Phillies are seeking a high price and the Rangers could use their prospect resources in their quest to add a more established pitcher like Chris Sale or Chris Archer or a catcher like Milwaukee’s Jonathan Lucroy. But it remains noteworthy that the Phillies have made Velasquez available for the right price.

What is that price?

Sources say the Phillies would like to get two hitters from Texas’ bounty. One of those hitters must be ready to play in the majors now and the other must be close. The Rangers have a number of hitters who fit this description. Outfielder Nomar Mazara is almost certainly untouchable. (He was last year in the Cole Hamels talks). Power-hitting outfielder Joey Gallo, infielder Jurickson Profar and outfielder Lewis Brinson would probably fit the Phils’ wish list.

A source described the Phillies as being “pretty deep” in talks with Texas. The Rangers even dispatched a top scout to watch Velasquez pitch in Atlanta on Friday night. The scout was not in attendance for Saturday night’s game.

Relievers David Hernandez and Jeanmar Gomez are also in play in the last couple of days before the deadline. The Giants, who need bullpen help, have had scouts tailing the Phillies for a couple of weeks.