March 13, 2011: Washington Nationals at Florida Marlins (Spring Training)

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Hanging out during BP
Game: Spring Training #15 – Nationals at Marlins
Pitching this Afternoon for the Nationals: Jordan Zimmermann, Henry Rodriguez, Brian Broderick, Collin Balester, Cole Kimball
Final Score: Nationals – 5, Marlins – 1

Morgan at bat
Play of the Game: Danny Espinosa made an AMAZING grab on a line drive over 2nd base, and turned around to throw the runner out. It was a really fast and stunning play that just showed Espinosa’s promise as a 2nd baseman.
Player of the Game: Rick Ankiel, for driving in 4 of the Nationals 5 runs.  He also played well in both left and center field (which helped allay my fears about having a terrible outfield for the regular season).

Watching BP
Where I sat: Section 117, Row 10.
What I ate: Cheeseburger and  fries (nothing really special), and dippin dots (which were frosty and delicious on another hot day in the sun).

Roger Dean Stadium Bern
Other Observations:
Roger Dean Stadium is a beautiful facility.  It plays host to both the Marlins and the Cardinals during Spring Training.  There are good views from everywhere, and I felt like I was very close to the players during batting practice.  There are even more opportunities for being close to the action with the “Berm” – a grassy seating area that sits right behind the visiting team’s bullpen.
– Others who were there may disagree with me (based on the volume of applause), but I thought the National anthem had too many frills and was too tortured today.  You don’t need to sing it straight, but if you’re going to be fancy, make sure you have the vocal chops to back that up.
– Another thing that I loved about Roger Dean Stadium was the multitude of picnicking areas – there were many tables, and even one with a large canopy covering it (highly beneficial for pale people like me who like to stay out of the sun).
– I managed to get a seat behind the Marlin’s bench.  This was because I believed that the home team is always on the 1st base side.  HOWEVER, because the Cardinals and Marlins share the facility, and because they occasionally play each other, they each have their own designated side, and the Marlins is on the side that I thought was for the visiting team, and the ticket site didn’t indicate which side was home/away.  Fortunately, my Nats shirt was gray, and I didn’t really stand out among all the Marlins fans.
– Not once, but twice, I was told that I was the first Nationals fan that someone had ever met.  Additionally, when asked about why I was at the game, and where I was from, people seemed surprised that someone would come down to Florida for a long weekend just to watch baseball.  I know I’m not the only Nats blogger who is/has been down here this weekend, so maybe most visiting fans aren’t interacting a lot with other teams’ fans?
– Like I mentioned in the player of the game section, the outfield performed MUCH better today, the starters didn’t miss any of the balls hit their way (to the extent that the little Marlins fan near me wondered aloud why his team didn’t catch as many balls as the Nats did).  In fact, the entire defense seemed to be playing a charmed game – there was maybe only 1 or 2 missed fielding opportunities.

(the rest of the album from this game can be seen here)

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