Jayson Werth arrived early to Spring Training on Saturday (like, really early), and made it clear he wants to put his 2011 disaster behind him: doesn't want to dwell on it, but feels more at home now. His comments got us thinking about home cooking, and the Nationals' Take Back the Park campaign. Here are Werth's comments on the importance of the fan base showing up at Nationals Park to a potential playoff run:
"Hopefully we can get (to the postseason) sooner than later, that’s for sure … I think these guys in here are talented enough and hungry enough. We’ve got the right mix of coaches and the manager and the attitude. I think a little bit from a fan base, they could get behind a team, fill the stadium every night and make it tough on the [visiting] team, it could go a long way. That’s something that, if we can get that aspect, it could catapult us ahead a little bit."
(Jayson Werth, via Washington Times, 2/18/2012)
Admittedly, when we first heard about Take Back the Park, we figured it was just a marketing ploy. That might still be partially true. And when we heard about a Phillies fan site hawking a bus trip and touting seats in the lower bowl we figured the Nats were double-dipping. But then the Nats wrote us to say they had not guaranteed any seats for folks on those marauding Philly party buses. Hmm.
And then Senator Bob Casey started crying about how unfairly Phillies fans were being treated by the Nationals. And then this story, via CBS Philly: a Philadelphia-based company claiming that they put a deposit down on a group outing to Nationals Park, only to have the Nats renege. Break out your tiny violins, NatsTown. Sure, it's kinda shitty; but also fairly amusing [excerpt via CBS Philly]:
When the folks over at Integrated Project Services Inc. in Lafayette Hill were deciding on a company outing, a baseball trip seemed like a perfect fit. “We’re big Phillies fans here. It’s fun during the baseball season in our office,” Chuck Stock, Senior Vice President at ISP Inc. said.
In December they contacted the Andrew Ascienzo, a ticket sales account executive for the Washington Nationals. “We put an order in and a deposit on tickets, and were guaranteed the tickets, got a signed contract. We were told that by January, we picked where we’d want to sit, but by the end of January we’d confirm where the seating was, and [the Nationals would] forward us the tickets,” Kate McCorriston, Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications at ISP Inc., said. “So we ordered a bus, put a deposit down on a bus, and notified employees to save the date, that we were going to the park on May 5th, to see the Phillies.” They were guaranteed the ability to purchase 100 tickets, with the possibility of ordering more depending on availability.
It was almost the end of January, and neither Kate or Chuck had heard a thing from the Nationals about their tickets. “we had tried to contact the Nationals because we thought by the end of January we were suppoesd to know,” McCorriston said. “So we called and emailed and called and called and emailed and called, this had been going on for two and a half weeks, and they finally just notified us and said ‘well sorry, we have to take back our park, you know, you can’t have the tickets, there aren’t any tickets left, and we’ll refund your deposit. That was it.
When Jennifer Wagner at ISP Inc. told Ascienzo in an email that they had already put down a $400 deposit on a bus, he replied “at this point, there is nothing we can do for this game. I can refund your credit card the $200 deposit that you initially put down.” (via CBS Philadelphia)
Awwww. At least they got their money back. And, hey, there's always the secondary market!
Welcome (back) home, Jayson Werth.
(Screengrab of TV/MASN.)