With the Nationals' final homestand of 2007 approaching, there's going to be a slew of "Farewell to RFK, Hello to New Stadium
" stories, and the Post's Barry Svrluga gets the ball rolling with "For Hitters, Not Much to Miss
," detailing not only the dimensions of the field that have irked players for the past three seasons, but some of the, shall we say, quirks of RFK: "The Nationals will catch up next spring, trading in RFK -- which was built for $24 million in 1961 -- for a $611 million, as-yet-to-be-named park a mile south of the Capitol in Southeast. Everything there will be different -- the clubhouses (swankier), the field dimensions (smaller), the sight lines (improved), the amenities for fans and players alike (existent), not to mention the parking (not enough). For the players, though, RFK has meant one thing above all others. It favors pitchers, they say, and just kills hitters."
As for when exactly the Nats will play their first game at the new ballpark, Svrluga in his Nationals Notebook
says: "The Washington Nationals are pushing the idea of opening their new ballpark next season on a national stage, asking Major League Baseball officials to grant them a prime-time game on a Sunday night to be broadcast on ESPN, according to sources who have been briefed on the club's plans. [...] The Nationals wouldn't open with a full series at home to make sure the new ballpark, located along the Anacostia River in Southeast, is completely ready. Rather, the one-game opener would serve as a dry run, just as an exhibition game against the New York Mets in 2005 served as a test for RFK Stadium. The Nationals then embarked on a nine-game road trip before opening the home schedule 11 days later."