When the Washington Nationals brought a World Series title to the city for the first time since 1924 in 2019, the ownership group led by Ted Lerner had nearly limitless cache with the fans. But, he’s somehow wasted all of that karma quickly, and Saturday’s rainout decision by Nationals leadership was the latest example.
Since then, the Nationals have been terrible, and the stars of that team are gone. Yes, veteran stars like Max Scherzer weren’t going to stay forever. And, the other ace, Stephen Strasburg, has not been able to stay healthy. But, the franchise has been so bad that it had to trade away Juan Soto, considered the generation’s premier left-handed hitter, at the trade deadline last year for a boatload of prospects.
They’re in the midst of a rebuild now, which is fine. Aside from a select few teams like the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, most baseball teams do go through cyclical rebuilds. But, if the Nationals keep treating their fans like they did on Saturday, they may never get them back.
The New York Mets are in town for a four-game series, and Washington lost game 1 of the series, 3-2, on Friday night. There was rain in the forecast for Saturday afternoon’s game, but they made a decision to try to get the game in, as each team in division is only making two trips to their divisional opponents as opposed to three each prior to this year since the divisional format changed in 1994.
But, rain came, and with the Nationals leading 1-0 in the top of the third inning with runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out for the New York Mets, the game was delayed for rain. Again, perfectly fine. Happens all the time. But, things soon went wrong.
Long story short, the nationals waited four hours to inform fans that it would be a rainout, and that fans would have to pay twice for tomorrow’s split doubleheader at 12:35PM and 4:35PM. This is bad enough on the surface, but when factoring in that tomorrow is Mother’s Day and many had bought tickets to the early game that all of a sudden won’t be valid until 4:35, it is an indefensible decision.
New York Mets broadcasters Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling were none too pleased, and they took the Nationals to task.
"It's really a shameful episode on the part of Major League Baseball to permit this to happen"
As tonight's game was suspended, Gary, Keith and Ron reacted to tonight's events, which included a nearly four-hour rain delay before the official suspension of the game: pic.twitter.com/Puqoy1aONb
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 14, 2023
People are not pleased.
Manfred, MLB and the Nationals should be ashamed
— Evan Roberts (@EvanRobertsWFAN) May 14, 2023
4 hours later and no baseball or the courtesy to let fans go home and get tickets for another game. pic.twitter.com/LcTnszRvzo
— Shanycole (@shanycole02) May 14, 2023
Whoever is to blame for what happened tonight at Nationals Park should be taken to task
*Starting game on time was ridiculous
*Playing through downpour was dangerous
*4 hour rain delay was damn near unprecedented
*Doing all that to suspend game and screw the fans was insane
— Danny Abriano (@DannyAbriano) May 14, 2023
Todays Mets game was handled like absolute crap from get-go. I don’t know who you blame .. MLB? Nationals? Either way, big thumbs down.
Sorry to everyone that sat through with apparently zero updates for over 4 hours. Split doubleheader tomorrow.
— Joe DeMayo (@PSLToFlushing) May 14, 2023
Let’s hope the Nationals do better with the next rainout.